First Containership in Over Two Years Reaches Ukraine to Expand Service

Pros Hope was the first dedicated containership to arrive in Ukraine in over two years (Telegram)

Published Apr 25, 2024 4:40 PM by The Maritime Executive


Ukraine continues to highlight steps for the restoration of shipping operations with reports that the first dedicated containership arrived in the Black Sea after an absence since the invasion in February 2022.  Earlier in April, the first container service was restored using a feeder vessel in the Black Sea.

The Pros Hope (14,000 dwt) arrived in Chornomorsk on April 21. The vessel is registered in Panama and is managed by a German agency. She arrived from China but it is unclear what her destination will be after Ukraine.

She is still a smaller vessel, 1,120 TEU capacity, but they are noting she is a dedicated containership. Built in 2005 in Romania, she is 485 feet (148 meters) in length.

At the beginning of April, a Turkish freight forwarder started container service from Chornomorsk as a feeder operation to Romania with a 5,800 dwt vessel T Mare. She is a general cargo ship that was outfitted to carry approximately 380 TEU. A similar ship, the T Moon was also recently added for the feeder service to both Romania and Turkey

Ukraine had been working to restore the container service reporting in March that its terminals were prepared to receive ships. They plan to phase five terminals in the ports back into operation to increase container service. Previously, containers had only been moving by truck or on the Danube, although the operator also added larger barges recently to expand service on that route.

They had been successful at negotiating an extension of the insurance coverage originally established for the bulkers to cover container operations. Ukraine won support from Marsh McLennan and Lloyd’s of London to create a coverage vehicle for the containerships.


Captain Leonidas became the largest vessel to call in Ukraine since the invasion (Oleksandr Kubrakov)


These efforts come as Russia continues to attack the port infrastructure on the Black Sea. Russian missiles damaged the port facilities in Yuzhne (Pivdennyi) on April 19 forcing a closure of the port. Operations were resuming today at one of the grain terminals in Chornomorsk after they were also significantly damaged by Russian missile attacks last week. The European Union earlier this year pledged 50 million in Euros to aid with the restoration of Ukraine's ports.

Exports of grains and other bulk cargoes are also continuing. Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for the Restoration, highlighted on social media a record cargo of iron ore exported from the Pivdennyi seaport. A Panama-flagged bulker, Captain Leonidas (203,000 dwt), loaded 195.7 thousand tonnes and departed Ukraine on April 5 bound for Singapore. It was the largest vessel to call at a Ukrainian port since the Russian invasion.