Over 130 Years of Excellence

Steamship “Moskva”, under the command of captain-lieutenant Chirikov, left Odessa for Vladivostok, Nikolaevsk and due in Sakhalin. The company started regular cargo and passenger voyages of domestic vessels from the European part of Russia to the Far East. In Vladivostok, the Voluntary Fleet agency was created.

On July 29 the steamship “Kolyma” departed from Vladivostok and reached the mouth of Kolyma on 1 September under the command of the retired rear-admiral P. A. Troyan. The vessel delivered 400 tons of the state cargo, two large rowboats, and a steam launch to tow these large rowboats. It was the first voyage of the Voluntary Fleet seamen, starting the marine trade to the Eastern Arctic regions.

By the end of the year the number of vessels in the Voluntary Fleet had already increased to 12. In addition, they had two auxiliary working vessels “Smelchak” and “Kazak Khabarov.” While maintaining its activity, the Far-Eastern branch of the Voluntary Fleet created 25 agencies at the sea coast and 10 agencies and representations in China and Korea. Far-Eastern residents started to renew intercoastal navigation of the Eastern line between Vladivostok and Soviet ports of the Black and Baltic Sea.

The government ratified the Charter of state marine shipping companies. From this time, the Pacific Marine Fleet was renamed as the Far-Eastern State Shipping Company (FESSCO).

In June, the fleet of the Far Eastern Shipping Company included 70 steamships and 15 motor vessels with 5 tankers among the latter ones. On 8 December the Japanese government declared La Perouse, Tsugaru and Korea Straits to be its “marine defensive lines.” This resulted in the Japanese armed forces arresting 178 Soviet merchant ships between 1941-1944, using arms in some cases.

On June 13 the largest Soviet trade motor vessel “Transbalt” (master - I. G. Gavrilov) was torpedoed and sank in the Sea of Japan. It was the twenty-fifth vessel of the Far Eastern Shipping Company to fall prey to the war.

The first cargo Japan-Nakhodka Line was opened. In addition, FESCO vessels operated the internal Chinese lines Dalny - Shanghai, Dalny - Qingdao, Qingwangdao - Shanghai chartered by the People's Republic of China. Between Indonesian ports, voyages to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Korean People's Democratic Republic were made earlier.

At the height of Caribbean crisis, FESCO vessels took an active part in the carriage of cargo to Cuba.

During the subsequent five years, 74 new ships with a total tonnage of 490,000 tons became part of the company's fleet. These included the motor vessels “Varnemunde” and “50 let VLKSM”; the timber - pallet carrier “Nikolay Novikov”, and the containerships “Sestroretsk” and “Alexandr Fadeev.” The first wood-chip carriers in our country “Grigory Alexeev”, “Pavel Rybin” and the new icebreakers “Ermak” and “Admiral Makarov” also commenced operations.

On 1 January the new Primorsk Shipping Company (the seventeenth in the country) was established to administer the FESCO bulk-oil fleet. It was located in the Nakhodka port. All 43 tankers, with a total deadweight amounting to 314,900 tons, were transferred to this enterprise from the Far Eastern Shipping Company.

Container operations by the company's vessels commenced between the ports of Japan, USA and Hong Kong. Two new lines – container lines FESCO-Pacific South and FESCO-Pacific North were established. The new line FESCO-PACIFIC Straits was opened between the ports of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Canada. Seven ships were working on this line by the end of the year.

In November, the new FESCO-Australian Line between the ports of Japan, Philippines and Australia was opened with the voyage of motor vessel “Mikhail Olminsky.” The line originally transported non-containerized cargoes and was later changed to include more container variants.

On 23 September the conference of the Far Eastern Shipping Company team took place. It was reorganized to be a Public Limited Company called “Far Eastern Shipping Company” as distinct from a state enterprise.

FANAL line, with three vessels of CA-15 type, began working between the ports of Australia and the northwest coast of the USA. The line quickly gained prestige and appeal among numerous clients, and as container ships were built, it was converted into a container variant with a weekly service and calls added to the ports of New Zealand and Polynesia.

The first FESCO agency abroad, FESCO Lines Australia Pty. Ltd., was established with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. FESCO's own agencies in New Zealand, FESCO Lines New Zealand Ltd (Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington) and in Hong Kong, FESCO Lines Hong Kong Ltd, commenced operations.

FESCO was the successful tenderer in a tender offered by Exxon Neftegaz Ltd for icebreaking and cargo support of oil platforms in the Sakhalin shelf, requiring the construction of the unique supply icebreaking vessel for long-term chartering.

A strategic decision by FESCO's management, together with administration of Russian Railways PLC, helped create the Russkaya Troyka company to perform container carriage along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Six new container ships were included in the stock of the company. The shipping company took part in terminal construction projects and an expansion of intermodal services. The main direction of the company's strategy was determined: “From sea to the land” based on the development of the service of through container shipments with a unitary consignment note.

2007 FESCO