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What is the Company’s view on the current situation on Russia’s rail containermarket?

In 2015, the weak macro environment has affected the market as a whole, with rail container transportation volumes decreasing 8.9% YoY in 9M15. The main downside effect came from the international segment (largely on the import side, which contracted 20% YoY), while the domestic segment has remained almost flat (-0.7% YoY). The dynamics of the transit volumes have been inverted with cargo volumes from South Korea to Mid-Asia falling, while volumes from China to Europe have increased. According to management, 2Q15 was the worst in the current year, both in terms of operational and financial results, while October and November have already demonstrated some recovery. TransContainer believes there is an opportunity to outperform its FY15 guidance: previously management had projected a 9% YoY drop in container transportation volumes, while they now believe it will be closer to 8%.

Specify the changes in container import structure in 2015

The structure of cargo turnover has changed. The most significant drop was demonstrated by the segments of auto & components, metal ware, and consumer goods.

Specify the drivers for Russian container transportation market in 2016

Management believes an L-shape crisis scenario is the most likely one: the market has reached its bottom, management sees nothing that could boost the economy in the next three years, and consequently there is no reason to expect material cargo volume growth. TransContainer expects stronger competition, both among rail operators and with other transportation segments. The launch of the Platon electronic toll collection (ETC) system for vehicles might provide some support to the railway transportation market. Continuing growth in the rail cargo containerization will be another factor driving the market up. But the most powerful drivers for Russian railway container market will remain the purchasing power of the population, the investment activity of the industries and Russia’s involvement in international trade.

Specify the drivers for containerization level

The rail containerisation ratio in Russia is low (around 5%) and still far below that of developed countries. Its upside potential remains the main market driver supporting the market. In 2014, the rail container segment grew on the back of a cargo base decrease, due to growth of containerisation. At the same time, containerization growth is impeded by shippers’ conservative approach to refurbishment of their cargo yards and loading equipment. As old equipment and technologies are modernised and many plants tend to produce goods in smaller bunches, more and more shippers switch to containers.

Ukrainian conflict consequences

TransContainer had around 100 railcars in Ukraine, which were successfully evacuated. While transit flows via Ukraine have never been significant, operations in Dobra Terminal (located in Slovakia near the Ukrainian border) were affected. Respective volumes have decreased by 30%, though small in absolute terms. The Ukrainian conflict was one of the reasons for the Company  to abandon its potential deal with Cargo Slovakia to purchase Dobra terminal.

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