According to the Deloitte research center every fifth company in Russia is leaded by woman. However, there are industries where women are rarely found in leadership positions. One of them is the maritime industry, traditional male world with strict rules of the game, but there is an exception to every rule. Olga Ansberg has been the head of Port Logistik LLC, the only operator of the Vyborg seaport, for four years now. The choice of the “maritime” profession was not accidental, already from the fourth university year Olga worked in a shipping company as an assistant in the export-import department, and six months later she headed the operational department, which she recalls as a “school of life”, after which nothing is scary. Olga Ansberg took over the management of the port without hesitation. It was under her leadership that one of the country’s oldest ports received a new impetus for development: in the first half of the year, the port’s cargo turnover increased by 51%, its infrastructure was modernized, they diversified the cargo base, and in the near future the port will be able to receive passenger ships all year round. Olga Ansberg shared with «Russian Business Guide» her successful experience in management of a large enterprise in the maritime industry.


– Everything related to the sea is traditionally considered a purely masculine business in our country. How did it happen that you became the head of Port Logistik LLC?

– This is perhaps the most frequently asked question. However, I cannot agree that the sea is a purely masculine business. It’s just that the traditional model of the structure of society did not give women the opportunity to occupy leadership positions for a very long time. However, the situation is changing. Once, in a very heated debate about the characteristics of male and female management, I compared the male business world with an old vine, which needs to be “grafted” with a new shoot – a female management model in order to preserve the quality of the grapes. So, women’s competence and accuracy have always been in demand in our industry. It was just that these professionals often did not have the opportunity to break through the traditional foundations, which included the stereotype that a man should be in charge of the port. I have been in this industry since the fourth year of St. Petersburg State University, I have been progressively moving up the career ladder and I think that now I am in my place and in suo anno, at the right moment. The seaport of Vyborg is a small, but very interesting and multitasking port, all my experience comes in handy here every day, and this work stimulates me to constantly improve my qualifications.


– Journalists call you “the captain in the skirt.” How would you define your own management style? In general, in your opinion, are there any peculiarities in management principles, depending on who is in charge: a man or a woman?

– Of course, there is difference. However, I will not tire of repeating that there are no male or female professions – there are people who are competent or incompetent. Everything else is secondary. Of course, a woman has a greater degree of empathy, shows less aggression, of course, if she does not try to copy the so-called male authoritarian management style. Her main path is creation, careful, progressive and accurate. Let the psychologists tell you the rest.


– What is the most difficult part of your job? In general, is it possible to somehow combine such work with the vital interests of an ordinary person: family, self-development, creativity, hobbies? By the way, tell us what are your hobbies, if, of course, there is time for it.

– If you do not procrastinate and organize your working hours, then you can combine work and personal life without harm to each of these activities quite well. The main thing is to be able to abstract from work issues at home, and vice versa.

My main hobbies are equestrian sports, books, travel and learning foreign languages. And of course, I do not forget about close people, without whose support it would be difficult to be a happy person and be in harmony with myself.

When it comes to difficulties at work, the most stressful situation for me is the discovery of deception on the part of an employee and the loss of trust in such a person. My main requirement for the team is not to lie, no matter how serious the offense may be. Systematic misleading me leads to the fact that the employee loses confidence and is excluded from the team.


– When you came to work at the port, what were your goals? What have you achieved? And what has not come out of the plan yet?

– The port requires serious modernization and development of the transshipment area, transition to a modern automated control system, replacement of crane facilities, restoration and repair of real estate objects. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we lost two years of passenger navigation, with which we had serious plans for international cooperation and the development of sea tourism. For four years, a lot has already been done and prepared for further steps. We were delayed a little by the situation in the economy of 2020, when we had to slow down many projects due to objective circumstances, but this year we returned to normal and progressive development.


– Among other things, Port Logistik took on the difficult task of reconstructing the Vyborg bakery. What does this project mean to you?

– Initially, we planned to make this complex a multifunctional center with a museum, an entertainment sector and a business center. However, this was before the pandemic. After we saw the possible risks accompanying such objects when introducing a lockdown, the concept was revised. After a while, we will present it to the public. Now we will proceed to emergency measures preceding the restoration. Let’s hope that soon the creation of Erkki Huttunen will become a decoration of the city again. In a new, really useful status for the region.


– Let’s move on to the port business. What are the main performance indicators of Port Logistik LLC now, what production and financial results do you plan to achieve next year?

– In 2018, the port reached record volumes of transshipment. Next year we plan to reach this figure again – 2 million tons – and fix it at the routine level. These figures may seem ridiculous to some of our colleagues, but it should be remembered that we handle small vessels, the average volume of a typical shipload for our port is 5,000 tons. Therefore, industry professionals will be able to understand how hard it is to achieve such an indicator with five cargo berths.


– How is the range of transshipment cargo changing? I wonder what impact the pandemic has had on shipping.

– The first serious diversification of the range of handled cargo was carried out in 2019, when we replaced the sharply falling volume of coal with more marginal cargo. In 2020, the main problem was the lockdown and shutdown of enterprises in Europe. Our main consumers are located there, and the demand for export goods traditionally sent through our port has dropped significantly. Well, the lack of passenger traffic was also a serious disappointment for us.


– Who are the main business partners of Port Logistik LLC in Russia and abroad now, how do you expand partnerships?

– It should be noted that our relationships with partners are quite stable and we are working on retention. After the repair of three additional berths, we will probably expand our ties, although we already understand that, most likely, we will simply provide our existing partners with the opportunity to increase turnover through our port. We are especially proud of the launch of a joint project with Terminal LLC for transshipment of non-hazardous liquid bulk cargo.


– The project of cross-border Russian-Finnish cooperation VIP&Ko stands out among the latest projects of the port. Please tell us more about it. It originated three years ago, in what state is it now?

– Within the framework of this project, together with our partners – the Finnish strategic development agency Cursor Oy and the Passenger Port of St.Petersburg Morskoy Fasad – we are developing a project to connect Kotka, Vyborg and St. Petersburg by a sea tourist route. Each of the partners has its own role and function, and Port Logistik, with the help of the grant funds, will modernize the passenger terminal in the Vyborg port in order to make the reception of passenger ships comfortable and safe, as well as to simply make this area modern and beautiful so that the sea gates of Vyborg will not only provide a comfortable border crossing, but also has an aesthetic appearance. And work on the project does not stop even now, when sea tourism is practically closed. The project is already being implemented, and in the very near future it will be possible to see its results. We have very competent and professional partners, and thanks to this cooperation, sea tourism in the region cannot fail to reach a new, higher level. The implementation of the project will allow not only to attract an additional flow of tourists, but also to provide new directions for work for tour operators, guides and other workers in the tourist services sector, as well as present this border region on the international arena as an attractive destination for sea tourism.

– What were the main difficulties you had to overcome on the way to implement VIP&Ko?

– The longest process was the approval of the tech task for equipping the premises of the seaport with state bodies, as well as the expectation of new sanitary requirements for equipping the passenger terminal, related to the impact of the pandemic. The project is being implemented with the money of a grant for a cross-border cooperation project, with co-financing from the own funds of Port Logistik LLC. The first part of the funding has already been allocated and is being used in accordance with the project schedule. In general, there were some hiccups, again they were associated with restrictions on COVID-19, but now we have already reached a relatively straight finish.


– Vyborg port is an enterprise with a 500-year history. What do you see it in 10 years? Is there a development plan for such a period or is it difficult to think so far now?

– 10 years is an average development perspective for the port. There is already a perfect picture – the repaired berths No. 11, 12 and 13 accept ships for loading bulk cargo. Cargo berths No. 6-10 operate in an environmentally friendly closed conveyor transshipment mode, which does not cause discomfort to residents of adjacent houses. The crane equipment park has been completely renewed. Passenger berths receive passenger ships all year round. 90% of production operations are automated, the entire document flow has been transferred to electronic form (I hope that by this time government agencies will also completely switch to paperless technologies).

Photo: Nikita Kruglov


Vyborg and Kotka to be connected by the Gulf of Finland

Vyborg and Kotka to be connected by the Gulf of Finland

A memorandum of agreement was signed in Kotka on June 07 by Olga Ansberg, the General Director of Port Logistic LTd and Esa Sirviö, the Mayor of Kotka. The document revealed a cooperation between the two parties on organisation of a regular passenger shipping route between Vyborg and Kotka. The memorandum was signed in presence of Toni Vanhala, Development Director for the Municipality of Kotka, Pavel Kuznetsov, the Russian Ambassador to Finland, and Gennady Orlov, Head of the Administration for the Vyborg district in the Leningrad region.

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The Munich Transport and Logistic Trade Fair took place from 04 to 07 June, 2019

The Munich Transport and Logistic Trade Fair took place from 04 to 07 June, 2019

This biannual event was first arranged in 1978 and now brings together in excess of 2 000 exibitors from 63 countries. It has quickly established itself as the predominant event in the world of maritime industry for its focus on the challenges facing future logistics. Port Logistics LTd took part in this years exhibition and was represented by senior management figures and client managers. The information point for the Seaport of Vyborg was located in the exhibition space of the Port of Hamburg.

The Royal Harbour Project unveiled

The Royal Harbour Project unveiled

On April 18 2019, The Royal Harbour Project was presented at a meeting of the Coordination Council for inward and outbound tourism. The maritime brand of Vyborg is seen as an exciting, new and visionary tourist project in the North-West of Russia and will be concentrated in the area of Vyborg, a historical settlement of national importance.

The goals of this project are to establish a common standard for services provided to tourists arriving by sea to the port of Vyborg, establishing of a common loyalty programme within the brand tourist products, development of international cultural cooperation and revival of historical ties in the Baltic region.

Much of the focus will go towards encouraging and supporting new ventures aimed at the growing tourist market in Vyborg. Promoting this new comprehensive approach to sea tourism can be achieved by forming a close community of entrepreneurs in the area.

The project will contribute to creating an attractive and effective tourist environment, the coordination of all market participants and full support and training in the operational areas of the harbour border crossing point. As a way to continually improve and keep up to date with global advances, the local administration and business owners of Vyborg will be encouraged to work closely with various international projects involved in maritime tourism. It is assumed that the project will include tourist industry representatives from the North-West region of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries. Thus far, all participants in the project share a common goal of comprehensively developing the tourism business in the North-West Region of Russia.

Port Logistics LTd headed by Olga Ansberg, operator of The Port of Vyborg, will act as a representive for the brand.

Port Logistics LTd has enjoyed continued success in this market since 2012 and has the necessary infrastructure and financial resources in place to carry out the planned initiatives. Partnerships have already produced several preliminary agreements made within the framework of the brand for passenger ship accommodation in the port of Vyborg. Port Logistics LTd plans to establish high-end infrastructure for welcoming and handling passengers, ticket sales, tourist information points, Duty Free shopping and development of tourist attractions and facilities. A regular passenger and cruiseship route between the towns of Finland and Vyborg has already been proposed. The company is working on a strategy which will see the necessary infrastructure installed to enable the handling of small-sized vessels, at an entry and departure point in the port.

Oriente Marine Ltd. is the ambassador of the Royal Harbour brand.

Natalia Nikolaeva, the Executive Director of the company, coordinates the brand members on the international and local markets, defines and sets directions for development of theme products and works on development of the Royal Harbour brand of Vyborg as a seal of quality for businesses in tourism and services. The company will implement a discount programme, allowing three types of discount cards to be used, namely Admiral, Skipper and Navigator, which will offer 15, 10 and 5 percent discount respectively for services of the brand members.

How does one become a member of the programme?

The process of membership aims to be both easy and transparent. In order to be included into the Royal Harbour brand a candidate must apply to Oriente Marine Ltd.

The admission conditions are simple: a candidate company or a private entrepreneur must work within tourism or an adjacent sphere, demonstrate and bring with them an excellent reputation or recommendations. The successful

candidate will then be admitted free of charge into an open register of associated participants under the Royal Harbour brand. Afterwards, the participant of the programme will be to able use the Royal Harbour logo on information sources, signs and objects for sale. The logo itself will act as a seal of quality and will help attract and reassure tourists. The port will provide companies with special training on how to work effectively within the guidlines of the harbour border crossing point.

Origins of passenger shipping in Vyborg

Origins of passenger shipping in Vyborg

In connection with the visit of Alexander Drozdenko, the Governor for the region of Leningrad, to the Seaport of Vyborg and the announcement of plans regarding passenger shipping development by Port Logistic LLC, we would like to remind of the origin of the passenger shipping in the region.

Because of the geographical position of Vyborg and the nearby settlements, passenger shipping was almost the only way for locals to travel to “the main land” and to their places of work or study. In June 1948 the regular service between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad, was established.  

As years went by more routes in the area were introduced and passenger shipping also served as a kind of short cruise in summer, especially around the Vyborg Bay and on the Saimaa Canal.

Now we are looking forward to a revival of passenger shipping in the area and increased possibilities for cruise tourism.

Based on the material from Varyazhskaya Gavan.

Port Logistic intends to develop passenger shipping

Port Logistic intends to develop passenger shipping

Port Logistic LTd plans to modernize its passenger infrastructure within the area of the port of Vyborg and establish new shipping routes. The announcement was made by Olga Ansberg, the General Director of the company, at a meeting with the Governor for the region of Leningrad, Alexander Drozdenko.

According to Mrs. Ansberg, this year the company will begin work on the reconstruction of the passenger terminal, modernization of the offices for State Control services and will also work on improving the surrounding areas. After the modernization four quays will be allocated for passenger ships. The port currently has only one functional passenger quay for ships arriving from Lappeenranta to Vyborg. She added that three additional quays will guarantee development of new routes for passenger shipping.

“We are planning to establish regular ferry connections with a number of towns in Finland and other countries, including winter cruises, international cruises and high-speed services to Primorsk and St. Petersburg”,  explains Mrs. Ansberg to Commersant StPb.

She also stressed that Port Logistic does not strive to compete with St. Petersburg, but will rather concentrate on handling of smaller ships and theme cruises. “This is a niche direction, that we will develop”, she said.

The launch of new routes is planned for May 2020. The company has not provided any details on the planned investments.

Port Logistic LTd is a stevedoring company that operates the Seaport of Vyborg. The port has an area of 16.2 ha and specializes in services for transshipment of general cargo, bulk cargo (mineral fertilizers, pellets, coal, ore, timber, scrap metal, aluminium hydroxide) and chemical liquid bulk. The company accommodates passenger vessels during summer navigation. In 2018 the cargo turnover of the port reached 1.9 mln. tons, 25% more than in 2017.





Alexander Drozdenko had a business breakfast with female entrepreneurs in Vyborg

Alexander Drozdenko had a business breakfast with female entrepreneurs in Vyborg

The head of the Leningrad region, Alexander Drozdenko, met with female entrepreneurs from different parts of the region at a business breakfast in Vyborg.

“Any business run by women is special, whatever people say.  Often it is a social entrepreneurship, in areas of education, beauty and fashion. If a woman becomes a general director of a port, the company immediately finds ways to work with social or environmental matters. Yet, the most important fact is that the beautiful part of the humanity always has creative plans!”, noted the Governor in an Instagram post.

Mr. Alexander Drozdenko highlighted that the government for the region of Leningrad has increased its support to entrepreneurs by 40% and he added that the government “discussed the introduction of educational programmes to provide further development in this area and encourage children to take part in entrepreneurial activities.”

The area of Vyborg was represented by Olga Ansberg, the General Director of Port Logistic LLC and the only female manager of a port in Russia. She was joined by Larisa Fomicheva, a head of a catering company.

It’s worth nothing, that the Government for the region of Leningrad has approved a strategy for development of small and medium entrepreneurship until 2030. The region 47 has become the first region in the country, where such document has been approved. To support SME the region has allocated 114 mln Rub in 2019.



Alexander Drozdenko, Governor for the region of Leningrad, recently visited the Port of Vyborg

Alexander Drozdenko, Governor for the region of Leningrad, recently visited the Port of Vyborg

During his visit he met with the management of Port Logistic LLC. Last year the company hit all time high record when it altogether had received and delivered nearly two million tons of various cargo.

In the years to come the port will introduce new and innovative methods of operation, with a focus on the regular cruise shipping between Finland and Vyborg.

A decision has also been made to modernize certain port facilities in order to provide services to combined ferries for passengers and freight. This requires a reconstruction of the quays and the purchase of new specialized equipment.

During the visit to Vyborg Governor Drozdenko also attended a business breakfast with female entrepreneurs from the region of Leningrad.

In all, 14 female entrepreneurs representing successful local businesses, were invited to discuss possible support measures from the regional government. Participants were from a wide range of spheres, from fitness clubs to private kindergartens.

Complex operation successfully carried out

Complex operation successfully carried out

Recently the universal cargo vessel “Industrial Ruby” called at the port of Vyborg. Its unique feature was its two lifting cranes, each with a boom of 15m and lifting capacity of 250 tons. The vessel arrived to load dredger “Beaver” onboard.

As told by Anton Saveliev, chief process engineer of Port Logistic LLC, any loading of a dredger is a rather technically complicated operation, especially in winter. He explained that the difficulty of this operation lays in the fact that the cargo is heavy and long, and must be lifted by two cranes simultaneously, noting that one lifting unit does not have sufficient capacity.

Mr. Saveliev proudly stated that the loading was completed efficiently and safely due to the professionalism of the port dockers and all those who took part, including the crew of m/v “Industrial Ruby”.


The Port of Vyborg reports an all-time high

The Port of Vyborg reports an all-time high

During 2018 the port of Vyborg handled some 1 945 200 tons of cargo. The port reported record results, topping 2017 by 25.4%.

These numbers are impressive given the general drop of 0.5% in cargo turnover in the Baltic ports during the same year. It has been 25 years since the port of Vyborg demonstrated such high yearly results.

The volume of export cargo transshipped grew by 27.2%, in particular coal by 79.6%, mineral fertilizers by 12.6% and general cargo by 88% which contributed significantly to the turnover growth for 2018. Import cargo transshipment increased by 6.3% in comparison with the previous year.

The operator of the port of Vyborg is Port Logistic LTd, a stevedoring company. At the end of 2017, Olga Ansberg stepped in as general director of the company. In December the following year the company bought out the port premises from the previous owner, bankrupted Port Equipment LTd. The port operator now has plans to develop the port area and infrastructure to increase cargo turnover and quality of services.