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Modern and spacious warehouses make it possible to increase capacity for the handling of frozen cargoes at the Port of Riga

In the Atlantic Ocean, the herring and mackerel fishing season is fully under way. Norwegian, Icelandic, Scottish and Faroese fishing vessels follow fish along their migration routes and fill the set catch quotas. Some of the fish are destined for Central Asia, and here a significant role is played by the Port of Riga.

Last week, yet another ship bearing frozen seafood dropped anchor at Riga’s Universal Terminal. Sailing under the Norwegian flag, the 100 metre-long ship can maintain a frigid temperatures in its cargo holds. Frozen herring, mackerel and other fish from the Atlantic Ocean are brought to Riga in such reefer ships or individual containers. A portion of the products ends up here on the Latvian market, but the majority are transported to Ukraine or Kazakhstan by road or rail.

“This is business that we have deliberately nurtured for at least eight years. Moreover, with the certification received this year, allowing us to store and handle cargoes for the Kazakhstani market, these volumes are continuing to grow. We’re talking about fish from Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Quite soon, bearing in mind that the fishing season varies among Atlantic Ocean nations, Norway, Scotland and individual Asian countries will follow,” says SIA Rīgas Universālais Termināls Board Member and CEO Jānis Kasalis.

Riga Universal Terminal has the advantage of a large warehouse, where up to 12,000 tonnes of frozen products can be stored, in compliance with all food storage standards.  Seafood and poultry products are stored here, and in summer - ice cream. “We’re talking about a cold store that is fitted with so-called smart technology, which simultaneously makes it possible to use available power efficiently,” explains Kasalis. 

“We can provide a cold store that is, firstly, located in a free economic zone, secondly - in the European Union, which means that here the cargo is secure, and it is easier to receive funding or export support programmes in Norway and other countries,” adds the Riga Universal Terminal spokesman. 

Kasalis stresses that “Our competitors are Klaipeda and the area of Ukraine by the Black Sea. However, if we look at Ukraine’s ports in the Black Sea, where cargo still has to travel almost 500 km to reach the capital, Kiev, right now we’re becoming more competitive, because the route from Norway to the Black Sea is longer than that to Riga.” 

During the first nine months of this year, the total volume of frozen cargoes handled at the Freeport of Riga exceeded 15,000 tonnes, which is significantly more than last year.