By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan has managed to achieve an increase in the volume of marine transportation in January 2017.
Regardless bad weather conditions vessels of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ACSC) transferred some 4,676 coaches with 3,237 of them being for dry freight and 1,439 for liquid cargo. The figure is 58 percent higher than the index recorded in January 2016.
The total volume of transported freight amounted to 300,520 tons in the reported period. The freight also included as many as 1,368 vehicles, which is some 15 percent more than the index for January 2016.
Overall, some 201 trips to different destinations were implemented in January 2017, with 21 of them being implemented by Ro-Ro type vessels, and 180 by ferries. Besides, 1,204 passengers used the service in the reported period, while the analogous figure for 2016 was only 167 people.
Being the largest and oldest shipping company on the Caspian Sea, ACSC owns the offshore support, merchant fleets and two shipyards.
The merchant fleet consists of 98 vessels being 34 tankers, 13 ferries, 14 universal dry-cargo, 2 Ro-Ro type ships as well as 35 different auxiliary ships. Offshore support fleet is comprised of 188 vessels of which 21 crane vessels, 22 supply and tug vessels, 29 passenger ships, 2 pipe lay barges, 7 firefighting vessels, 5 geological survey vessels, 11 diving support vessels, and 84 other support vessels.
The company provides marine transportation of goods and passengers in the Caspian Sea as well as provides offshore support services for oil and gas operations.
Azerbaijan highly prioritizes the development of the shipping industry, while the State Program on Development of Shipping in Azerbaijan for 2016-2020 envisages a number of measures promote the sphere.
The program covers renewal of the transport and specialized offshore fleet, expansion of activities, increase of the volume of freight transportation through the territory of the country, modernization of shipbuilding and maintenance yards and improvement of the academic base of marine education, as well as implementation of certain measures to turn the country into major transport-logistics hub of international importance.