Romanian, Georgian transport groups agree to set up new Black Sea shipping route

Romania’s Grampet Group has signed a deal with GR Logistics and Terminals of Georgia and ASCO Logistic CJSC of Azerbaijan to set up a consortium that will operate a regular shipping between Constanța in Romania and Batumi/Poti in Georgia.

“A year after joining the Middle Corridor Association, we have managed to activate the Constanța-Batumi/Poti shipping route, which has a very important role for freight transit from Asia to Europe. It is basically the last piece missing from the Middle Corridor chain,” said Gruia Stoica, president of Grampet Group, after signing the deal in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

“At the same time, the Tbilisi agreement brings us closer to our stated goal of launching the first rail freight transports between China and Western Europe that will transit Romania,” he added.

The lack of a direct naval connection between Georgian ports and Constanța has long viewed as a major obstacle to trade in the Black Sea region.

“Alternative routes, which go through Istanbul or Piraeus, are non-competitive, because they have a transit time of 12 to 24 days. Once a permanent and regular connection between the ports of Georgia and Romania is launched, we can reduce this transit time to two days,” added Sorin Chinde, vice president of Grampet’s transport division.