Fesco, one of Russia’s largest shipping lines, said on Tuesday it was in negotiations to establish a shipping route between Russia and Latin America, in a move driven by a need for bananas from Ecuador and agricultural products from other countries.
The West has imposed sweeping sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, while the world’s three largest container shipping lines, Denmark’s Maersk, France’s CMA CGM and Switzerland’s MSC, have suspended bookings to and from Russia.
“We are currently in negotiations with our partners, the retailers who are interested in restoring the lost routes,” Andrei Severilov, Fesco’s chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement. The company is talking mostly about delivering bananas from Ecuador, as well as agricultural products from other Latin American countries, he added.
Severilov said the key problem was the lack of a large-capacity fleet and that Fesco plans to buy ships with more than double the capacity it has today, up to 7,000 TEUs, a measure of container capacity.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits among Russian consumers. According to NielsenIQ data, bananas accounted for 21.7% of fruit sales in monetary terms between January and October of this year.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News, Reuters (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Additional reporting by Olga Popova; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Josie Kao)