MOSCOW, Nov. 22 (Reuters) – Fesco, one of Russia’s largest transport companies, said on Tuesday it was negotiating to establish a sea route between the country and Latin America, a decision prompted by the need for bananas from Ecuador.
The West has imposed sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine. That is why the three largest container shipping companies in the world, Maersk of Denmark, CMA CGM of France and MSC of Switzerland, have suspended bookings to and from Russia.
“We are currently negotiating with our partners, the retailers interested in restoring lost routes,” Andrei Severilov, chairman of Fesco’s board of directors, said in a statement.
The company is mainly looking to supply bananas from Ecuador, but also agricultural products from other Latin American countries, he added.
Severilov said the main problem was the lack of a large capacity fleet and that Fesco plans to buy ships with more than double the capacity it currently has, up to 7,000 TEU.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits among Russian consumers. Between January and October this year, bananas accounted for 21.7% of fruit sales in monetary terms, according to data from NielsenIQ.
(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Additional reporting by Olga Popova; Editing in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)