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Feasibility Study - Development of Transportation on the Saimaa Canal

The study on the development of transportation on the Saimaa Canal and possible switching of transboundary cargo turnover from roads and railways to waterways was conducted in the frames of the INFUTURE project, Future Potential of Inland Waterways Financed by the EU, the Russian Federation and Finland.

The goal was to identify means to switch cargo flows from roads and railways into waterways using the Saimaa Canal. The object was the cargo turnover between Russia and Finland and the subjects and regulatory documents that ensure this cargo turnover. The subject of the research was the means to intensify cargo turnover through the Saimaa Canal, including through recommendations for changing the regulatory framework. The outcome of this work are the results form comparative analysis of various types of transport, the composition and structure of tariffs for the transportation of goods by water, tools for the development of water communications can be used to formulate recommendations for switching cargo turnover between Russia and Finland into inland water transport.

The study was conducted under the supervision of the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping by A.L. Yushchenko, Executive Director, Ph.D. in Economics, A.V. Kukharenkov, Head of the Testing Center, Ph.D. in Economics and M.A. Surovyatkin, Head of Industry Department, Marine Cargo Bureau.


In conclusion, it has to be said that within the framework of this part of the research work, the goal was achieved, which was to determine the commercial prospects for switching cargo flows from road and railway transport to water transport using the Saimaa Canal.

In the Strategy for the Development of Export of Services until 2025, it is determined that the export of transport and transit services is associated with the efficiency of logistics, namely, due to the “digitalization of transport corridors and junctions, simplification of administrative procedures in the implementation of export, import and transit, including in the format of "one contact" principle, harmonization of transport legislation, as well as the formation and implementation of long- term plans for the development of transport infrastructure, the formation of special legislation in the field of public-private partnerships and special financial instruments to attract private investors to the implementation of large investment projects.”

At the same time, for water transport in the specified regulatory legal acts, specific measures are given that allow to determine in more detail the directions for further research to achieve this goal.

Transportation of goods along the river is a rather profitable enterprise if the task is to save money, since it has the lowest cost of all existing transportation methods. The transfer of building materials and other objects is 2-3 times cheaper than on the railway tracks of a similar route.

The analysis of rate setting on the Finland - Russia route by various modes of transport has proved the competitive advantage of river transport.

Taking into account the emergence of bottlenecks in transport links in the North-West, a promising direction is the inclusion of the underutilized capacity of inland waterways in the transportation process.

The implementation of the logistics and transport capabilities of inland water- ways is associated with the need for a significant modernization of the port infrastructure and water transport. The characteristics of the state of the infrastructure of

inland waterways and water transport, given in official sources, including in the Strategy for the Development of Inland Waterway Transport until 2030, allows to draw an unambiguous conclusion about the need to apply a number of economic measures aimed at supporting the development of inland waterway transport and port infrastructure. Legal entities carrying out commercial activities aimed at ensuring the functioning of inland waterways, including attracting additional cargo flows, including highly profitable cargo for this type of transport and direct investment, also require state support.

To realize the potential of inland waterways, it is necessary to create conditions that will expand the sources of funding for facilities from extra-budgetary sources and conditions that ensure the profitability of the work of both transport companies and commercial structures that ensure the operation of river ports and trading organizations.

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