Russian steelmaker NLMK doubled the volume of container deliveries of electrical steel to 100kt in 2015. By expanding the range of its container cargo handling operations, the company saved roughly 110 million rubles, it is claimed.

Whereas NLMK’s finished products were previously transported via road and rail to the ports, before being loaded into containers, they are now loaded into containers on-site.

According to the company, containers significantly cut transportation costs for key destinations, reduce lead times and minimise the risk of damage during transportation.

Last year, NLMK became the first Russian steel company to be granted the right to receive and process containers with a gross weight of up to 41 tonnes. The use of large tonnage containers is in line with Russia’s railways strategy for the ‘comprehensive development of the domestic container business’.

At present, 20% of all electrical steel deliveries are shipped in containers.

Sergei Likharev, NLMK’s group vice president for logistics, said, “Transitioning to container deliveries is one of the most promising areas of improvement. In the course of 2016, we plan to grow the share of electrical steel shipped in containers to no less than 50% of total shipments.”