Constanta Port Day in Novi Sad brings together more than 100 companies from seven countries (PHOTO)

In 2023, the Constanta Port continued strengthening its position as an important hub for the export of Serbian goods. When it comes to the export of goods from Serbia or goods passing through Romania, during the first eight months of the year, almost 4.39 million tons were transported, primarily fertilizers, solid mineral fuels, iron ore, iron ores, and scrap, as well as cereals – it was underscored at the Constanta Port Day in Novi Sad.

The traditional event, its fifteenth edition, held on September 28, 2023, at the Sheraton Hotel, gathered more than 230 delegates from over 100 companies from Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Germany. The gathering, organized by the Constanta Maritime Ports Administration SA, in cooperation with its representative office in Serbia, once again met expectations and proved to be one of the most important meeting points for key players in the transport, logistics, and agro-business sector in the entire region.

Vladan Mišić, Constanta Port representative in Belgrade, was the first to welcome the guests, saying that he is very proud that the event recorded an exceptional number of participants, which testifies to the strong and growing interest in cooperation.

The Commercial Manager at the Constanța Port Administration, George Gabriel Visan, the Ambassador of Romania in Serbia, Silvia Davidoiu, as well as the Assistant Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Predrag Petrović, also addressed the audience.

Although 2022 was a very challenging year for us, it was also a record-breaking year, the Commercial Manager at the Constanta Port pointed out.

– In the year 2022, the importance of Constanta Port has increased from a logistic point of view, becoming the main hub for cargo flows originating from Caspian Sea region and China, transiting the Middle Corridor, a status that creates new opportunities for the development of trade relations with the countries in the hinterland of the Constanta port – it was highlighted at the event.

Ambassador of Romania Silvia Davidoiu – who met with the representatives of the Maritime Ports Administration in Belgrade before the event – reminded that the two countries record 4 billion euros in traffic, but also that there is room for much more. Davidoiu added that officials in Belgrade and Bucharest work intensively on improving trade relations, noting that events such as the Constanta Port Day are crucial for company partnerships and closing new deals.

The traditional Constanta Port Day, spanning 15 years, highlights the importance of networking, sharing experiences, and supporting initiatives in the Danube region, said Predrag Petrović, Assistant Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Sector for Water Traffic.

– Serbia and Romania have long-standing friendly relations. Our common link, the Danube River, isn’t just a natural route for transportation, it’s also an important economic lifeline that creates jobs for Serbian ports, Constanta Port, ship owners, and others in the logistics chain – Petrović emphasized.

Constanta Port plays a huge role in Serbia’s connectivity. Goods from Serbia passing through this port are sent to South Africa, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Turkey, he added.

Panel discussion

This year’s Constanta Port Day also added something new, instead of presentations, the official part of the program included a panel discussion. JRB & President of Group for river shipping, Mladen Grujić, general director of DP World Novi Sad Claudiu Negreanu, Head of Marketing Department at the Constanta Port Administration, Daniel Jarnea and representative of the Romanian Naval Authority, Danut Alexandru, discussed different current topics in the field of maritime transport.

The reconfiguration of transport routes from Central Asia to the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, joint efforts to improve navigation on the Danube, possibilities for the export of cereals from Serbia, and the lack of personnel in the field of maritime transport – are only some of the issues addressed by the panel participants. The panel was moderated by the representative of Constanta Port in Belgrade Vladan Mišić.

During the panel discussion, Daniel Jarnea shared with the gathered delegates some of the most important information for ongoing and future cooperation with the Constanta Port. He said that, apart from large investments in IT infrastructure that enabled more efficient operation of trucks in the port and improved the optimization of their arrivals and departures, there are plans to implement a similar system for barges. This should guarantee a reduction in congestion – which is one of the main concerns for vessel owners.

– The significant increase in the number of vessels passing through the Port of Constanta has brought much greater congestion. Today, we have about 600 barges every day, which is a significantly higher number than, for example, was the case only three years ago. We have held many meetings with IT service providers and we are constantly working to introduce a system that will help avoid congestion – he said.

B2B meetings

This year, as has been the case so far, Constanta Port Day ended with B2B meetings, during which company representatives were able to swap information about upcoming plans and projects, as well as exchange experiences about doing business in challenging economic and geopolitical circumstances.

(On the cover photo: George Gabriel Visan, Commercial Manager at the Constanța Port Administration)