140 years on the way to more
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140 years on the way to more
Follow the path that our company has travelled since its foundation in 1880.
The history of the parent company of the FESCO Transportation Group - Far Eastern Shipping Company – goes back to April 25, 1880, when a representative office of the Russian Shipping Company Volunteer Fleet (“Dobroflot”) was set up in Vladivostok.
“Dobroflot” was founded by the Government of Alexander III at the expense of citizens’ donations for development of the Russian marine trade. In 1887 s/s “Nizhny Novgorod” made first trial voyage from Odessa to Russia's Far East. Soon such voyages became regular, so the Russian government officially announced establishment of the shipping connection between the Black Sea and Far East ports of the country.
February 26, 1880
s/s “Moskwa” making a regular voyage under the lieutenant commander Sergey Chirikov departed from Odessa heading to Vladivostok, Nikolaevsk and Due in Sakhalin
April 25, 1880
On April 25, less than two months later, moving at the fantastic speed the vessel arrived in Vladivostok. The agent of “Dobroflot” Dmitry Esipov who opened the first representative office of the company in Far East sailed on the vessel to the city. This day has become the birthday of FESCO.
Anton Chekhov
with Dobroflot steamships civilization has come to Far East
Regular voyages of vessels under the national flag effectively connected Russia and Far East. This prompted Anton Chekhov who in 1890 was coming back from a trip to Sakhalin to note that “...with Dobroflot steamships civilization has come to Far East”.
With its first voyage “Moskwa” delivered to Vladivostok 60,000 poods (982,841.23 kg) of cargo, food and industrial products and first two official passengers.>
The history of Dobroflot is inextricably linked with the history of the country.
Starting from 1883, “Dobroflot” steamships under agreement with the Russian Government began delivering migrants to Far East. Just over the first 10 years, apart from almost 40,000 passengers, more than 3,000 migrant families were brought.
The voyage of s/s “Kolyma” laid the foundation for the shipping and transportation development of the Eastern Arctic.
Starting from 1891 “Dobroflot” was the main carrier of cargo for the Trans-Siberian Railway under construction. Its steamers delivered millions of tons of key commodities – rails, tie bars, special equipment and even girders for the bridge across Amur. During that time “Dobroflot” steamships carried to Vladivostok enormous volumes of construction materials, equipment and weapon for the Vladivostok Fortress.
During the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905 some steamships of the company were lost at the Dalny and Port-Artur ports. During the First World War (1914-1918) millions on tons of cargo were delivered to Far East. However if before the revolution the fleet of “Dobroflot” had comprised 44 vessels,.
by the end of the Civil War that was particularly long in Far East (1918-1922), the company’s fleet had been almost lost, many vessels under the command of the White movement members, were left at foreign ports.
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In 1894 the Icebreaker “Silach” arrived to Vladivostok. After that voyages between Odessa and Vladivostok became year-round.
The voyage of s/s “Kolyma” laid the foundation for the shipping and transportation development of the Eastern Arctic.
In 1897 “Silach” was brought for service to the unfrozen port of Port-Artur where it operated till 1905. It was sunk by Russian sailors on the day of the fortress capture.
s/s “Transbalt” was one of the largest transport vessels in the USSR, carried landlease cargo from the USA to Vladivostok, was the last vessel of FESCO lost during the Second World War.
The fleet was recovered gradually, at the same time the state searched for an efficient management model.
In 1924 a uniform all-union association “Sovtorgflot” was set up, and the office of “Dobroflot” in Vladivostok became its division.
In 1934 Vladivostok Arctic Shipping Company was created.
In 1935 Far Eastern Shipping Company, FESCO that became a globally renowned Soviet brand emerged.
In Fire and Peace
24 FESCO vessels were lost during the Great Patriotic War. But the company developed rapidly after the war.
In Fire and Peace
s/s “Transbalt” was one of the largest transport vessels in the USSR, carried landlease cargo from the USA to Vladivostok, was the last vessel of FESCO lost during the Second World War.
Before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War the company’s fleet had consisted of 85 vessels, that were operated practically all over the world. The war made its corrections, the main task was to deliver cargo under landlease to the USA – almost a half of the total volume of the required and vital cargo delivered from the USSR
as a part of the military aid was carried by FESCO vessels across the Pacific Ocean and the port of Vladivostok.
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The company’s fleet was renovated after the war: the steamships were replaced with motor ships and diesel-electric ships built at the domestic shipyards and foreign wharves. Foreign shipping lines that forthwith occupied the market were set up: in 1958 - Japan-Nakhodka Line
in 1967 - FESCO Indian Line, in 1971 and 1972 - FESCO Pacific South and FESCO Pасific North.
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During that time the company’s history was closely tied with the dramatic events of the global history of the second half of the 20th century. In Autumn 1962 immediately before the Caribbean crisis, the FESCO steamships took active part in carriage of Soviet rockets and military servicemen to Cuba
and in the middle of the 1960s and till the end of the war, FESCO vessels in Vietnam transported considerable amounts of cargo to Vietnam fighting with the USA.
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In 1967 the international name Far Eastern Shipping Company and logo FESCO were developed for FESCO.
At the same time significant structural changes were implemented: in 1957 the Vladivostok Arctic Shipping Company was consolidated with FESCO under the latter’s flag, and in 1972 a new tanker Primorsk Shipping Company was singled out from FESCO. 
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Soviet Leader in the Asia-Pacific Region
In the second half of the 20th century, FESCO became the leader of the international linear shipment market and supported Arctic navigation.
Soviet Leader in the Asia-Pacific Region
s/s “Gamzat Tsadasa”, built in 1971 in Yugoslavia, named after the Avar Soviet Poet and dramatist, translator, politician, people’s poet of the Dagestan ASSR.
In the 70s and 80s of the 20th century, the shipping company was a huge enterprise. The on-shore divisions were scattered from the Posyet Bay in the southern part of Primorye to the port of Pevek on Chukotka
The FESCO fleet comprised four shipyards and over a dozen of ports and port points, with 230 vessels, the shipboard personnel of 20,000 sailors, and the headcount of 70,000 employees.
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In the 1980s FESCO’s fleet was further expanded. Four passenger ships “Lyubov Orlova” and two car and passenger ferries “Dmitry Shostakovich” were included into the fleet one after another.
The extremely challenging Arctic navigation in 1983 was a real experience for FESCO sailors. When delivering cargo to the Northern territory to Chukotka, 28 ships of the company stuck in ice at once. Despite all the efforts taken by the escorting icebreakers, the ships wouldn’t move. Then three atomic icebreakers from the Western Arctic arrived to rescue them
So the fleet endangered to spend winter in the ice was taken away from the Arctic basin in extremely severe conditions. However a tragedy did happen: on the 9th of October in the Long Strait the s/s “Nina Sagaidak” was caught in the ice river, was squashed with ice and sank. All the crew members were rescued by helicopters from the icebreakers that despite their close location could not move due to the strong ice pressure.
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In early 1990s together with the USSR FESCO experienced some economic reforms. On February 15, 1991 the state unitary enterprise “FESCO” (SE “FESCO”) was registered
On September 23, 1992 the FESCO Employees’ Conference registered change of the legal form from the unitary enterprise to the joint-stock company.
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Priority FESCO
Today FESCO sets priority on development of intermodal container carriages focusing on Far East , including attraction of transit cargo from Japan and the Republic of Korea delivered to Europe, on the route along the Trans-Siberian Railway and expansion of its on-land regular services within Russia and abroad.
Priority FESCO
The company is actively developing 3PL-logistics requiring “door-to-door” carriages that are supported by other assets in addition to its own, and the 4PL segment – turnkey logistics for the client. Since 2017 FESCO has been engaged in project logistics for large construction projects.