The Head of Odesa Branch of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority Public Enterprise (USPA) Ihor Tkachuk tells about the main achievements of the enterprise and his anticipations.
– In recent times the Odesa Sea Ports Authority faced a great deal of changes. Can you specify the most important?
Odesa Sea Port is a powerful well-oiled machine with a developed infrastructure. It’s clear that efficient performance would have been plainly impossible without due reconstruction of the existing and creation of new infrastructure facilities.
Today we managed to involve domestic and foreign investors and to set a number of important issues into motion. These are: maintenance excavating, reconstruction of mooring, Marine Museum, Passenger Ship Terminal and other significant facilities.
Thus, we have already completed assembling a kinetic front on the Passenger Ship Terminal building. I’d like to mention, that similar solutions have never been employed in Ukraine before. As to the worldwide practice, the Odesa Passenger Ship Terminal facade is the third of the kind in the world.
We would like to make the square and moorings of the main sea gates of Ukraine the favorite recreation spot for the city visitors and Odesa natives.
– How are transportation system development and modernization objectives solved in the Odesa Sea Port? What achievements can you already boast, and what challenges are still vital?
The challenges are common for all the economic executives – the lack of locomotive traction and troubles in railway service. We meet with railway management, discuss alternatives for improvement of operation and infrastructure development regularly. Considering the development of the fleet, arises necessity for dredging and passport depths increasing. Today we solve these tasks along with stevedoring companies.
As to the achievements, one may mention a new trend in container traffic servicing that we are developing readily – launch of specialized container trains. There are already four trains of the kind linking the Odesa Sea Port with Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipro and Kharkiv. Cumulatively in all the directions this allows to cut the latency period for the containers’ recipient in average by 70 hours. At the same time, a heavy load of container transportation is taken off from the highways. Developing the container possibilities of the Odesa Sea Port, we assign ourselves an ambitious task – to gain the lead in container reloading in the Black Sea region.
– What the future of the Odesa Sea Port in the world cruise industry may be?
Unfortunately, in 2016 the cruise ship entries in the Black Sea basin ceased. However, after a set of negotiations, roundtable discussions and meetings, we managed to set this issue in motion. We are expecting for a cruise liner in the fall of 2019. We have already received requests for 13 ship entries for 2020 and further years. It is pleasant that the world famous tour operators’ cruise liners such as Phoenix Reisen, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises return to us. An active work of our administration with navigation lines supported by Cruise Port Association MedCruise makes an important component of gradual rebirth of cruise ship industry via Odesa. Since large cruise companies are planning their operation three-five years ahead, we will be able to perceive the results of our today’s efforts only in a couple of years. Meanwhile, we are improving infrastructure and reconstruct the vital facilities to receive the passengers in the port.
– You have mentioned that increase of cargo transportation by stevedoring companies is a result of openness and transparency policy as between the port administration and business entities. What do you think defines efficient communication and cooperation between public authorities and business?
Public-private partnership model is the most advantageous for a port operation. We are interested in our partners growing their potential, increasing reloading amounts and developing. In cooperating with the business it’s important for all the processes to be maximally open and fast. Instruments allowing us to achieve it: all procurements go through Prozorro system, heads of services and departments file electronic declarations. Reviewing the previous year, I report to the stevedores and publicly to the media. Such practice allows discussing performance and prospects.
Cooperation with law enforcement authorities is an equally important component. Thanks to close cooperation with police, National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and border guard service, all malefactions detected are being expeditiously investigated and those responsible suffer punishment.
– You have joined the Odesa Sea Port managers almost three years ago. What tasks are of high priority for you?
My work priority area is introduction of foreign experience in the public enterprise, policy of openness and transparency in the work with the partners and keeping up to high social warranties’ level for dockworkers.
Today Odesa Sea Port is properly presented on a world scene: our employees actively participate in international exhibitions, adopt and introduce foreign colleagues’ experience. Closer cooperation with the stevedoring companies, relevant Ministry and Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority Central Office and involvement of investors are equally important. Being a manager, I appreciate efficient teamwork the first thing. Odesa Sea Port is working 24/7, 365 days a year. I am positively convinced that the work of any enterprise depends on the competence of its employees.
Odesa dockworkers day by day make their work qualitatively, professionally and diligently. By our mutual efforts we are turning a public enterprise into a modern port that may serve as an example. And I am proud that today we can offer our employees a collective employment agreement which is considered to be the best in the naval sector.