Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company plans expansion to Baltic and North Seas
Seven years ago, the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO) expanded beyond the Caspian Sea. The company’s vessels began to move freight in the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Now the shipping line is planning to launch its services in the Baltic and North Seas. To this end, ASCO is scrutinising these markets.
One of the directions of development of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company is to expand its activities in foreign waters and eliminate dependence on one market. This goal is contained in the company’s Strategic Development Plan for the period up to 2030, which was developed in cooperation with leading international consulting firm McKinsey. “In addition to the Black and Mediterranean Sea basins, ASCO is preparing to carry out cargo transportation in the Baltic and North Seas,” the company stated.
ASCO is currently examining the requirements required to operate in the above two seas. Among other things, the shipping company chooses the appropriate flag for its ships. Portugal and Malta are being considered as the best options to tackle this issue. Moreover, ASCO continues to improve its operational efficiency in order to be a competitive player in new markets.
Currently, ASCO’s merchant fleet consists of 51 vessels: 20 tankers, 13 ferries, 15 universal dry-cargo, two ro-ro ships as well as one auxiliary vessel and one floating workshop. The company’s offshore support fleet comprises 210 vessels: 20 crane vessels, 25 supply and tug vessels, 26 passenger ships, two pipelay barges, six firefighting vessels, seven geological survey vessels, two diving support vessels, and 88 other support vessels.