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VTG Project Logistics – Moscow, Russia

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Interview with

Mr. Sergey Nikitin
Managing Director

First of all tell us about VTG Moscow. When was the office established, and if I understand correctly, you are part of a German company, right?

VTG is a reliable 3PL Provider in worldwide Project Logistics. Our office in Moscow was established at the beginning of 2019. We are part of one of Europe’s leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies, with a fleet consisting of more than 94,000 railcars, tanks, and platforms. The headquarters of VTG is in Hamburg, Germany.

What is the main function of the office in Moscow?

The main aim is to obtain forwarding in Russia and the C.I.S.

The head office of VTG Project Logistics, Russia is located in Moscow. The management and administration employees work hard there. The operational parts are located in Astrakhan, Vladivostok, Blagoveschensk, and Svobodniy. A new office is going to be opened in May 2020 in St. Petersburg.

Russia is a huge country and railways are obviously used almost all the time. Yet, who controls the railway operation, and how can you ensure good “customer service” on the railways since you are depending on the same railway network as everyone else? What makes VTG special?

While the railway network in Russia and the locomotives are owned by RZD, all the individual cars are privately owned. VTG is not only a forwarder but also an owner of more than 4,000 wagons in Russia. As a result, the VTG team has a huge amount of practical experience in forwarding different kinds of project goods by railway, but VTG Project Logistics is a completely new chapter in the Eastern hemisphere.

VTG Project Logistics, Russia operates in all transport sectors between Europe, America, and Asia. With systematic organization and innovative solutions, VTG Project Logistics, Russia offers optimum project logistics. These include multiple cargo handling, customs clearance, and technical and engineered solutions, including totally customized transfers of plant and machinery, and managing multimodal movement of over-dimensional and heavy equipment for clients in the mining, energy, construction, and oil and gas industries.

Tell us a bit about the distances of your country. What is the furthest Russian locale to which you have delivered cargo? Can you describe the obstacles you may face due to the winter?

The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. Its total area is about 17 million square kilometers. The distance between our offices is more than 9,000 km, comprising 7 time zones!

Time Zone Map of Russia
The 11 time zones of Russia

Our Oil and Gas and mining customer factories are located in the most remote corners of Russia, such as Chukotka, Yakutia, and the north of Sakhalin. In these areas, winter weather brings heavy snow, freezing rain, flooding, and bitterly cold temperatures that can all wreak havoc on road conditions and cause a lot of delivery problems. For example, we managed a big project which began in Svobodniy where temperatures drop to minus 45 degrees Celsius. This means that navigation along the Northern Sea Route is possible only in the summer.

On the other hand, there are advantages. The winter period allows delivery of cargoes to hard-to-reach areas. We forward equipment to drilling sites and mines in such ways.

How about customs clearance in Russia? It was always “world famous” for being tricky, unpredictable, and difficult. Is that still the case today?

All that is in the dim and distant past. Today, electronic workflows are implemented in all customs procedures. If you are well prepared with information and documentation, you would not have to be in contact with people in person. All goods would be released within a few hours according to the electronic application process.

Specialists in the Customs Department of VTG Project Logistics, Russia carry out comprehensive analyses of their clients’ foreign trade contracts and offer coherent logistic schemes with well-organized transport to save their customers time and money.

The procedures for passing through customs clearance are agreed upon with regard to the start and end dates of the equipment being manufactured and the installation of the equipment on the site. This takes into account the seasonality of delivery and groups it according to the Customs Codes and Classification Decisions of the Federal Customs Service of Russia.

VTG also carries out the procedure of Internal Customs Transit at transfer points for the goods.

Besides Moscow and St. Petersburg, where would you say that business takes place in Russia, or is it almost all centered in and around Moscow?

We would say that for common consumer goods, business is mostly centered in Moscow and St. Petersburg because almost 65% of the population is concentrated in the European part of the country. However, project logistics are slightly different.

The headquarters of our project clients are located in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but the businesses themselves are located in Siberia and the Far East, where the main investment projects are being implemented. A stronger, local presence of VTG there puts us closer to new businesses that can benefit specifically from our project logistics expertise.

Are you a member of any overseas networks? Has it been useful to you so far?

At the moment, we are only a member of CLC Projects.

How is it best to reach you?

Please contact our office by phone on +7(495)1174515 or send us an email at infopl@vtg.com.

You can also be in touch with our Business Development Manager, Mr. Danil Kamyshov on +79170848089 or by email at Danil.Kamyshov@vtg.com.

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