European transport group Samskip has broadened its Baltic operations by acquiring shortsea specialist Sea Connect. The Klaipeda-based shipping company, which will be renamed Samskip Sea Connect, offers shortsea services connecting Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.
Sea Connect operates three 1A Ice Class container vessels calling twice a week at St Petersburg and Rotterdam, weekly at Hamburg and at Aarhus sub inducement.
“This acquisition strengthens our position in Russia, in the Netherlands and across a range of key Baltic ports in between,” says Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, Chief Executive Officer, Samskip. “It enhances services for Samskip’s shortsea customers focusing on growth opportunities in Russia and adds opportunities for importers and exporters within the region to secure cost-efficient and sustainable multimodal connections farther afield.”
“Sea Connect has emerged as an exceptionally lean, robust operation offering reliability in quay-to-quay and door-to-door services,” Laaksonen adds. Its acquisition consolidates Samskip’s commitments to the Baltic region, following its acquisition of Norlines in 2017 and the founding of a separate Finnish entity earlier this year.
Both Sea Connect Managing Director, Viacheslav Puzemskij, and SCS-Russia Managing Director, Anton Larkin remain to play full roles within the new organisation, working with Johan van der Pijl, Samskip Regional Director Baltics and Russia.
“This is a win-win for our customers which brings together Sea Connect’s route-specific focus with the opportunities created by Samskip’s extensive multimodal network and values,” says Viacheslav Puzemskij. “Integrating our company with Samskip aligns with the strategic goal we set ourselves in forming Sea Connect to evolve as a trusted partner and grow to serve the full range of customer needs in the Baltic and Russian markets. We assure our present and future clients that a customer-orientated culture will remain in the company, as our most important value.”
Laaksonen anticipates growth in unitised volumes connecting Russia and the Baltic states through Rotterdam by rail, barges, vessels all over the Europe, and greater deployment of Samskip’s expert refrigerated cargo services in St Petersburg. “Russian exporters and importers are likely to be attracted by new possibilities to penetrate markets to the west and south using Samskip’s network of shortsea, rail, inland barge and road services,” he adds. Sea Connect’s feeder links with deep sea carriers would also remain.