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ASCO expands the geography of its activities

The Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO) takes regular measures to expand its activities in foreign waters and eliminate dependence on one market. The activities in this field will be carried out in accordance with the instruction of President Ilham Aliyev following the Strategic Plan for the Development of the Shipping Company.

For 7 years in a row, ASCO has been continuously operating its vessels in international waters. Operations in external waters were restored in 2014 with the commissioning of dry cargo vessels named “Natavan” and “Uzeyir Hajibeyli”. In subsequent years, the ranks of these ships were replenished. Currently, ASCO-owned dry cargo vessels and tankers carry out cargo transportation in the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

To expand its operations out of the Caspian Sea, ASCO constantly studies international markets and evaluates potential business areas. As part of this effort, in 2020, ASCO worked with McKinsey, a leading international consulting firm, to develop a strategy to expand its operations out of the Caspian Sea basin. The strategy covers the period up to 2030.

Following the strategy, besides the basins of the Black and Mediterranean Seas, ASCO is preparing to carry out cargo transportation in the Baltic and North Seas. To this end, there have been carried out a detailed analysis of these markets, the types of vessels that can be used for the carriage of goods, the requirements for vessels to work in these basins, and other important aspects. Certainly, in order to gain access to these markets, it is necessary to follow strict requirements of classification societies, ports of entry and other relevant regulatory authorities, including flag requirements. At the moment, ASCO continues to work in this direction and, in accordance with the policy of reducing dependence on one market, plans to send several vessels to the mentioned sea basins. For ensuring the competitiveness of ASCO in these markets, optimizing operating costs, removing any potential constraints, the trainings on requirements (including flag requirements) is underway. Depending on the conditions of advantage in the operation of ships, ASCO’s ships will be commissioned in Europe (Portugal, Malta, etc.) or, based on the experience of international shipping, in other regions with favorable conditions for the registration of ships.

One of the main goals of ASCO is to expand activities in waters outside the Caspian Sea and thus contribute to the country's external revenues through the export of local shipping services.