Constanța, safe harbour for COSCO

cosco shipping line romania
COSCO Shipping Line Romania vessel in Constanta (source: Facebook/COSCO Shipping Line Romania

Constanța, safe harbour for COSCO: the Chinese giant shipping corporation is represented by two companies in Romania.

One of them is called COSCO Romanian Shipping and Trading SRL and its sole shareholder is the company COSCO Europe GmbH Hamburg.

Constanța, safe harbour for COSCO

In fact, the current name of the company is COSCO SHIPPING (Europe) GmbH, as explained by the Chinese group website: “COSCO SHIPPING (Europe) GmbH is the regional management company of the China COSCO SHIPPING Corporation in the European Region.

The predecessor of this company, formerly known as ‘COSCO Europe GmbH’, was the representative office of COSCO in Hamburg and registered and founded on February 15th, 1989, by the original COSCO Group in Hamburg, Germany, with a registered capital of 500,000 DM.

It was the first regional management company set up overseas by the COSCO Group. The company’s registered capital increased to 3.78 million Euros in 2009. On September 11th, 2017, its name was changed to the active name.”

In 2018, COSCO Romanian Shipping and Trading SRL registered revenues amounting to RON 15.8 million (EUR 3.5 million) and a net profit of RON 3.6 million (EUR 800,000) with 14 employees.

Two companies, more opportunities

The other company is called COSCO Shipping Lines (Romania) Co. Ltd. SRL and is owned by COSCO Shipping Lines (Europe) GmbH & COSCO Shipping Lines (Belgium). According to the company’s website, “COSCO SHIPPING Lines (Europe) Company, which is based in Hamburg, Germany, has been established in February 1989 as one business section of COSCO Europe Company. On January 11th, 2017 the Name has been changed to COSCO SHIPPING Lines (Europe) Company”.

The other company, according to the same source, has a strategic position – Antwerp: “COSCO SHIPPING Lines (Belgium) N.V. represents COSCO SHIPPING Lines CO. LTD., Shanghai in Belgium and Luxemburg and has main office in Antwerp and sub office in Zeebrugge.

COSCO SHIPPING Lines CO. LTD is the leading container logistics company for China and offers its customers full coverage of Worldwide trade lanes, with many of the fastest transit times. We have regular services connecting Asia, North & South America, Europe, the Indian Sub-continent, the Middle East & Africa.

Services to Australia and New Zealand complete coverage in Asia-Pacific. With an in-house team of forwarding specialists we can assist customers with a full logistics package.

Antwerp’s & Zeebrugge’s excellent locations in North West Europe, enables Cosco Shipping Belgium to offer exporters and importers swift and made-to-measure logistic services”.

COSCO Shipping Lines (Romania) Co. Ltd. SRL has better results compared to her sister COSCO Romanian Shipping and Trading SRL. Therefore, in 2018, it registered revenues exceeding RON 196 million (over EUR 43 million) and a net profit of almost RON 11 million (EUR 2.4 million) with 42 employees.

Big plans for the future

In an interview for a specialized magazine in 2019, Cătălin Petre, Deputy Manager of COSCO Shipping Lines România, makes an interesting forecast in the context of Chinese business in Romania and Europe in general: “Costs for shipping will rise and with them, the freight cost (editor’s note: cost of freight transportation on sea) and will lead, in my opinion, to reducing the differences in costs between sea and railroad shipping.

Shipping on sea will remain cheaper than the railroad one still, but the difference between the two will be significantly lower. In this context, it is possible that part if the volumes shipped now on sea will be moved on railroad, the transit time being less in case of railroad transportation, especially if we talk about One Belt One Road, where we already have a lot of trains on the 2 corridors (North and Middle Corridor) with rising volumes every month, every year.

We have several ongoing projects. Together with another partner we intend to launch a new service connecting the Black Sea-Constanţa Harbour with the West Mediterranean Sea and North of Africa. Also, another project we are working on is launching a container train that will connect the Piraeus Harbour to the centre of Romania.”

Facilities around the Black Sea

According to the publication “Intermodal & Logistics”, quoted previously, “COSCO SHIPPING Lines (Romania) is one of the leaders in the sea-shipping sector in Romania. The Company, as exclusive agent of the ship-owner COSCO SHIPPING Lines, provides integrated sea transportation and logistics services towards and from the main harbours in the Far East, Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zeelande.

The company also operates in Moldova and Caucaz (Georgia, Armenia Azerbaijan), coordinating the activity with the help of its sub-agents from these areas. COSCO SHIPPING Lines (Romania) provides the only direct service from Asia to the Black Sea (Constanţa and Odessa), the clients benefiting from a competitive transit time.

The service was launched in 2006, the ships’ capacity rising gradually from 2,500 TEU to 10,000 TEU (TEU stands for Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit which can be used to measure a ship’s cargo carrying capacity. The dimensions of one TEU are equal to that of a standard 20′ shipping container. 20 feet long, 8 feet tall).”

Conflict of interests?

There are connections between COSCO Shipping Lines (Romania) Co. Ltd. SRL and the sister company COSCO Romanian Shipping and Trading SRL also regarding the human resources, not only shareholders. And one of these connections is Laurențiu Hornet, who works for both, according to his declaration of assets submitted by his wife, Lacrima Hornet.

She works for the Romanian Naval Authority right in the premises of Constanța harbor, where the two companies held by the Chinese Giant COSCO also operate, and leads the Program Coordination Office.

Hornet was mentioned on the website of “Breakbulk Caspian” since October 2018 (developed at Baku, Azerbaijan, where “participants discussed the transportation of heavy and oversized cargo by rail and water transport in the Caucasus and Caspian region”) as “operations manager” of COSCO Romanian Shipping and Trading SRL.

The Ukrainian branch of COSCO is located in the Odessa port.

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