More than 70 Ukrainian cargo ships, mainly cereals, are waiting to enter Sulina Port at border control. Checks are made at only three berths, too few for the flow of ships arriving in port, which leads to delays and blockages. Ciprian Cotigă, representative of the Lower Danube Galați River Administration, explained that the problem is that the ports are sized for a certain cargo load and that it is not possible to switch from 3-4 ships at 70-80 at once.
Until the outbreak of the war, 2-3 ships passed through the Sulina port every day at the border control. Now, the waiting times are a few days.
After the control from Sulina, the ships continue their way to the ports of Giurgiulesti or Ismail, but their berths are also crowded, which amplifies the blockades.
According to the legislation, from the Black Sea to the Danube ports, seagoing ships must be driven by personnel of the Lower Danube River Administration Galați. The institution says it has staff, but that it is sized to pre-war conditions.
“There are almost five times as many ships as normal. The main cargo is cereals, but they also carry tanks or diesel. The problem is that all the ports are sized for a certain cargo load, we can’t suddenly go from 3-4 ships to 70-80 ships. Priorities are set, but this is the level for checks, number of pilots, port operating power. The cause of the situation is the conflict in Ukraine”, Ciprian Cotiga told Digi24.