Fertilizers are included in a large category of cargoes known as “Chemicals.” Every year, around 50 million various kinds of fertilizers are transported all around the world. According to the UN’s Comtrade database, 90% of these shipments consist of loose and liquid cargo. Over the past 50 years, the demand for mineral fertilizers has grown almost sixfold according to the International Fertilizer Association (IFA). Leading countries in the field of mineral fertilizers are densely populated China and India, which account for a one third of total demand, as well as the United States and Brazil. The world’s five largest producers – China, the United States, India, Russia and Canada – are responsible for about 60% of the total global output of agrochemicals. The list of the most often imported fertilizers includes nitrogen, potassium, phosphoric, as well as blended fertilizers. The main players in this market are specialized agrochemical companies like Agrium, Mosaic, PotashCorp, OCP, EuroChem, PhosAgro, and Uralkali.
According to the IFA, the growth of the world’s mineral fertilizer production capacity so far exceeds the growth in demand, but in the future the situation in some segments will change.
Fertilizer manufacturers, traders, and consumers are in constant search of solutions to optimize logistics costs, which significantly affect the final costs of the goods. In order to sell logistics services successfully in the chemical industry, it is necessary to study the cargo precisely, i.e. its properties, storage and transportation conditions.
"Without knowing all of this, we simply can not find a common language with our client. We cannot begin a dialogue. That's why AsstrA specialists devote so much time to finding and studying specific information. This approach allows us to act purposefully and achieve a specific, favorable result," notes Svetlana Palkina, Head of AsstrA Fertilizers Logistics.
AsstrA specialists constantly broaden their knowledge of the industry’s markets. Moreover, the team develops and improves logistics solutions in order to meet the needs of their customers.
“In 2017, we signed a large-scale contract with the one of the industry’s leaders. It was possible thanks to the well-coordinated teamwork of the Break Bulk General Cargo Division, led by Oleg Sysolyatin. This division provides a full range of services related to the transportation of large consignments by sea, including port forwarding. Getting such a project is, on the one hand, a great responsibility but on the other hand, an excellent opportunity to gain experience, which we can further apply when working with other companies," Svetlana Palkina continues.
AsstrA Fertilizers Logistics’ global customers include fertilizer traders as well as producers. AsstrA often serves as a facilitator in deals involving both types of clients. Trilateral meetings are held during which each participant has the opportunity to solve his problems effectively.
In the new year, ambitious goals were set for the department.
"In 2018, together with the Break Bulk Department, we are developing a service for the transshipment of granular and lumpy sulfur via the ports of the Black and Caspian Seas. Offerings include goods collection at the port, storage, and onward shipment to the ship in bulk or in big bags. Our plans are also to develop a service for re-shipment of cargo in containers. Additionally, we actively offer vessel chartering for the transportation of fertilizers for export. Carbamide, potassium, nitrogen, and phosphoric fertilizers logistics are also under consideration in 2018," Ms. Palkina highlights.