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Kherson, also spelled Cherson, is the adminsitrative center of Kherson province.  It has major river and sea port. It lies on the right (west) bank of the lower Dnieper River about 15 miles (25 km) from the latter's mouth. It was founded in 1778 by the military leader and statesman Grigory Potemkin. Kherson region is situated on the south of Ukraine. The area of Kherson region is 28, 500 sq. km. It's bounded on the north by Dniepropetrovsk region, on the east by Zaporoge region, on the west by Nikolaev region and Crimean republic on the south by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Kherson was originally built by the Russians as a garrison for the Cossacks, the fierce warriors who defended the Russian Empire's southern barder against the marauding Tatars and Turks. Like all of the southern Ukraine, the province is densely spotted with archeological excavation sites (mezolithic, copper and bronze ages). In 8th-7th centuries B.C. the Kherson steppes were a part of the Scythian state. In the 2nd century B.C. the area was inhabited by the Sarmats and proto-Slavic tribes. In the 2nd-6th centuries A.D. there were rather numerous Slavic settlements. In the 10th-13th centuries the area was a part of Kyiv Rus, but after the Tartar-Mongol invasion it fell under the control of the Crimean Khannat, which in its turn in the 15th century became a part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. After the Cossacks, the most militant of the Ukrainian population, founded Zaporizka Sich, a heavily fortified military base on the southern frontier of the Slav territory, numerous raids against Tartars and Turks were carried out. In the 18th century several  more "siches" (military bases) were founded, which considerably lessened Moslem control of the territory. In 1774 the territory became a part of the Russian Empire. In 1778 on the site of Fort Alexander-Schanz the city of Kherson was founded. In 1803 it became the administrative center of Kherson Province.


Kherson river port located in the mouth of the river Dnieper on the right bank of the Koshevaya river is now a branch of the UKRRICHFLOT JS Shipping Company. Right up to 1982 the port supplied high quality sand in the main. Nowadays the main freight traffic amounts to scrap, metal, containers, coal, glass, fertilizers, coke, timber, construction and grain cargoes. The port accommodates ships with a length of up to 200m, at berths Nos. 1 and 2 -the vessels having draft up to 7.6m, at berths Nos. 3 and 7 — the vessels having draft up to 4m. For the cargo area the total length of seven berths is 887 linear meters. There is a special terminal in the port for handling mineral fertilizers with output reaching 30,000 tons per month. The terminal has been equipped with special devices for packing fertilizers into bags. The port has got railway access lines, the overall area of open-air storage grounds covers 9500 sq. m, sheltered warehouse area totals 2,500 sq. m, the terminal for handling grain-crops equipped with elevator capacity 30,000 tons is being built ttiere. The port berths are equipped with 10 gantry cranes with lifting capacity of 5—20 tons. There are 4 floating cranes with lifting capacity of 5—16 tons and" other facilities. The port has got a river passenger terminal and 12 berthing lines 60 m long each to accommodate river passenger vessels with the capacity of up to 700 people. The waterfront depth is 4 m. The navigable period lasts all year round. The port is open for foreign-flag ships. The foreign trade goods transfer geography: ports of Turkey and Italy (scrap export); ports of Africa and Greece (transit of Russian mineral fertilizers). The port provides for all means for complex fleet servicing, local transfer of cargo and forwarding services.


Kherson sea trade port was founded on the 18th of June, 1778, a Decree of the Russian Senate was issued ordering the laying of the foundations of Kherson city, a harbour and a shipyard. The port has an advantageous site in the Dnieper river estuary, 53 miles from the Black Sea, and is navigable all year round. It can host vessels of up to 200 m long and 7.6 m draught. The port specializes in handling mineral and chemical fertilizers, in bulk and packed, with open and sheltered storage in floating containers. To handle them, there is a specialized complex for transshipment of bulk fertilizers and a line for packaging bulk cargo into sacks. There are gantry cranes of up to 10 t capacity and floating cranes of up to 150 t capacity in the port. At the end of the 80s Kherson sea trade port was handling up to 5m tons of cargo. In 1997 the figure was 2m tons. Apart from the problems resulting from the crisis in the economy in Ukraine and other CIS countries, there were specific reasons for this sharp decrease in cargo handling. Kherson port has always specialized in fertilizer handling. The cargo flow came here from every part of the USSR. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has preferred to employ its own ports to transship fertilizers. Besides that, the market has been affected by world prices. For example, the price of ammonia sulphate had fallen sharply, and in the summer of 1997 there were over 100,000 t of ammonia sulphate stored on the port’s quays when the storage norm is 40,000 t. The cargo turnover of the port of Kherson in 1997 was 10% higher compared with that of 1996. To lure new cargo volumes, shippers were granted discounted rates for loading-discharging: 80% of cargo were handled with 30% discount, and some 10% — with 50% discount. Naturally, profits have been affected, nonetheless, in general, the port has managed to achieve positive financial results. The limited area compels the port to look for non-standard technological solutions in order to raise labour productivity. For instance, today just one sacked-mineral-fertilizer handling line can process 1,300 t per 24h. The maximum productivity of the line is 2,000 t. Up to 40 wagons of bulk mineral fertilizers are discharged per shift. Grain processing in the port runs to 100 wagons per 24h. To make it possible to accumulate cargoes, 15 “Danube-sea” barges 1,000 dwt have been purchased. Apart of that, a second port is being constructed in two Dnieper backwaters. Areas have been planned, berths built, power supplies connected, storage area equipped, and a gantry crane is already working in one backwater. This year they have already received scrap metal. In the other backwater, intensive construction work is still going on, and when it is over, the waterfront of the backwaters will exceed that of the port. But scrap metal is not the kind of cargo you can rely on for long periods, since a lot of ports are processing it. Last year 100,000 t of cokes were transshipped in the backwater. Maybe, the possibility of handling phosphate rocks from North Africa will be realized and the backwater will be used for that too. Among the projects for the near future, is a grain terminal construction. This will allow the port to handle an additional 500,000 t of grain a year. “The new grain terminal is designed for 20,000 t of contemporary storage,” explains the port’s Chief Engineer Valentin Tkachenko. “It is a warehouse with everything necessary to store grain (electronic scales at the entrance and exit, a fire-fighting system, a drying system). The project is financed by the firm Dneprocargo. Warehouses of the type exist in the UK and Denmark. Metal structures will be supplied locally, while the technology and equipment will be Danish. Therefore, the existing handling complex will be supported by a warehouse through which it will be possible to process grain.” The port managers believe that, in order to cardinally change the situation in Kherson sea trade port, it is necessary to establish a state governing body, i.e. Kherson Port Maritime Administration, and to give it authority to operate state property in the port and to co-ordinate the activities of companies in the port, whatever their status. That model is accepted in many world ports. Here is the opinion of the port’s DG, Yury Tutushkin: “What can I do, as the port’s DG, to attract cargo? Our work is of a high standard, and fast, we follow all the necessary norms and techniques. But in order to increase cargo flows through our port, we have to attract Russian firms, since most of our transit comes from Russia. If we can get Russian companies and other cargo owners to invest here, their main concern will be to obtain profits, and, therefore, the port’s stability will be assured.” We have only to add, that the Stabilization Programme of Ukrainian maritime and inland water transport envisages the opportunity to test out this system; a system which is very new for Ukraine


Kherson proximity to the sea resulted in shipbuilding and in 1779 the shipyards of the town began the construction of the first battle ship "SLAVA EKATERINY" (Catherine's Glory) carrying 66 cannons on board thus giving the start to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Kherson Shipyard was founded in 1951 as a basic yard in the former Soviet Union for merchant shipbuilding and now is considered one of the key shipbuilding and repair yard in Ukraine. Through its 50 years history the yard gained reputation of a reliable partner and is recognized among the shipowners all over the world thanks to its various types of vessels built: tankers, dry cargo vessels, ice breakers, multi-purpose vessels, container vessels, arctic supply carriers, drilling vessels etc


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