Ukraine is the ranked as the largest country located in Europe in its entirety, housing a population of over 45 million. Given its direct transport access to Asia via the Black Sea, it is ideally situated for manufacturing and trade. With over 170,000 km of roadways, 23,000 km of rail lines and 13 seaports, Ukraine has the infrastructure to rapidly transport a wide variety of goods within the country and across its borders.
Most of the main destinations in Europe can be easily reached from Ukraine by truck in just 2 days, giving it a competitive advantage, especially when it comes to manufacturing and food distribution. As a point of comparison, the average shipping time by sea from China is 25 days to Western Europe, and 30 days to Northern European countries. When the truck time to ship across Europe is added for non-port cities, Ukraine stands out for its ability to deliver on time and cost-to-market in the EU.
Ukraine's convenient location gives it the advantage of accommodating the transit of passengers and goods between Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Today the country’s transportation infrastructure comprises of approximately 169.5 thousand km of highways. It is anticipated that the quantity of traffic and the quality of rendered services including large-scale infrastructure projects and the reconstruction of several roads will increase during the following years. The primary aim of the industry’s development, provided by the development concept approved by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, is to raise the standards and bring the transport system of Ukraine in order to match the European infrastructure standards.
Ukraine’s highway network is quite substantial, it extends over all of the nation’s territory; yet, the quality of the road surface and infrastructure requires further development. Public authorities have invested in the improvement of the main roads, connecting the country’s main economic hubs; however, the extent of investment into the local road network is considerably low, which does not allow adequate financing for the upkeep of the road network.
The international transport corridors that pass through Ukraine are as follows:
• Pan-European Transport Corridor III, with the route Berlin – Wroclaw– Lviv – Kyiv
• Pan-European Transport Corridor V, which links Trieste and Lviv via Ljubljana, Budapest and Uzhhorod Pan European Transport Corridor IX, with a total length of 3400 km and a route passing through Helsinki – St. Petersburg – Vitebsk – Kyiv – Odesa – Plovdiv – Bucharest – Alexandroupolis.
• Gdansk – Odesa International Transport Corridor, with a length of 1816 km and passing through Poland and Ukraine.
The existence of these well-defined routes provides an obvious advantage for the transit or delivery of passengers via the primary border crossing points.
There over 20 airports in Ukraine for passenger and cargo transportation. Most of the airports and aerodromes of Ukraine were originally constructed to serve military purposes while some are still being used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as in the case of the central airport of Ukraine in Boryspil, which shares its airstrip with the Boryspil Air Base. In addition to airports, there are 11 aerodromes and 35 airstrips that are being operated separately.
The aviation infrastructure of Ukraine is being supervised by the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine. The service issues certificates for all airports in the country and keeps a registry of all aircraft.
As per the annual assessment of the aviation safety management system in 2017, Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (UkSATSE) was ranked 3rd among 47 air navigation service providers in the European region. UkSATSE has made a giant leap all the way from last year’s 10th position. The evaluation was performed by the mutual initiative of The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO). (https://mtu.gov.ua/en/news/29470.html)
The beginning of 2018 welcomed an 8.8% increase in passenger transportation by Ukrainian airlines as compared to the corresponding period of last year, including an increase of 8.3% in international flights. Passenger traffic through Ukraine's airports increased by 19.3% plus an increase of 20.2% in international traffic. During January-February 2018, the number of commercial flights, made by Ukrainian airlines, increased by 2.4%, while the number of international flights remained the same as last year. (http://avia.gov.ua)
More information is available at the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine official website.
Borispol International Airport
IATA code KBP
Boryspil Airport is an international airport in Boryspil, 35km east of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. It is the largest and the busiest airport in Ukraine. It accommodates more than 67% of Ukraine’s passenger air traffic, amounting to over 10 million passengers per year. Boryspil Airport is located at the intersection of numerous air-routes, connecting Asia with Europe and America. Over 25 national and foreign airlines operate passenger and cargo transportation on 75 scheduled routes from Boryspil worldwide. The airport operates from 1959 and presently is comprised of three terminals (Cargo/Domestic and International Charter/International). Cargo (F) terminal acts as a home base for Ukraine International Airlines.
Borispol airport is a member of International Association “Airports Council International Europe” (ACI EUROPE); the Club of Quality Leaders of Ukraine; “Airports of Ukraine” Association of Civil Aviation (AAUCA); Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Public “Ukrainian Association of Excellence and Quality”; Public “Ukrainian Air Transport Association” and the Association of Hotel Unions.
Zhulyany Airport Kyiv
IATA code: IEV.
Zhuliany International Airport is owned by the municipality of Kyiv. The airport is named after its location, while also sometimes referred to as Igor Sikorsky Airport. It is one of the two major airports in the city and is Ukraine’s second biggest in terms of passenger traffic and a number of flights. Zhuliany Airport is also Ukraine’s main business aviation airport, and one of Europe’s busiest business aviation hubs. Until the 1960s this airport was the only passenger airport in Kyiv. Its close location to the city center (only 7km) and connection to the main Kyiv highway infrastructure makes it easily accessible. Zhuliany International Airport is enlisted in the three best airports of the world in the category “International airport for small and medium-haul aircraft, up to 4 million Passengers” under The World Routes Awards 2013.
Ukraine holds the most powerful port potential among the countries of the Black Sea region. Along with its Black and Azov Seas coastline, there are 13 merchant seaports. The waterfront and port territories are equipped with several hundred gantry cranes, thousands of lift trucks of different types and other units of port machinery.
The most important Ukrainian ports are those of Odessa, Ilyichevsk and Yuzhniy, all situated in proximity to each other in the north-western part of the Black Sea. These three ports generate 56.6 % of the entire cargo turnover in Ukrainian merchant seaports and 38.28 % of cargo handling in all ports and terminals of the country. These ports accommodate vessels with drafts of 11.5 – 14.5m, having an advantage over other ports in Ukraine which have a considerately lower draft limit.
Specifically, Odessa’s technical capacities allow handling of more than 21 million tons of dry and 25 million tons of bulk cargoes annually. Container terminals allow for the handling of approximately 900,000 TEU per year. The passenger terminal permits the transfer of 4 million tourists a year. Navigation is possible year-round. The port accommodates cargoes such as oil products, liquefied gas, vegetable oils, technical oils, containers of all types and sizes, ferrous and nonferrous metals, ore, pig-iron, raw sugar in bulk, grains in bulk, perishables in containers, various cargoes in bags, boxes, packages, and integrated cargo units and motor transport.
The major container terminals in Ukraine are additionally situated in the ports of Odessa, Ilyichevsk and Yuzhniy. At the mouths of the biggest Ukrainian rivers, the Dnipro and Yuzhniy Bug, there is a group of seaports, in particular, Nikolaev, Kherson, Oktyabrsk, which handle both bulk and general cargoes. The northern coast of Azov Sea has two prominent merchant seaports, namely, Berdyansk and Mariupol, whose distinctive characteristic is their proximity to the industrially developed regions of Pridneprovye and Donbass. The export of metals and other commodities from these regions provides these two ports with their main workload.
As of 2001, all merchant seaports of Ukraine have been united under the non-governmental organization UKPORT (Ukrainian Ports Association). The association is comprised of ports, enterprises and companies, and is one of the most authoritative non-profit establishments representing the interests of those engaged in the water transport industry of the country.
Railway transport of Ukraine is the leading sector of road transport in the country, covering 82% of freight and about 50% of passenger transportations.
The operational system of railways in Ukraine is approximately 19,800 km, nearly 50% of which are electrified. Ukraine's railway comes fourth as per cargo traffic on the Eurasian continent after the Russian, Chinese and Indian railways. The freight-traffic of Ukrainian Railways (annual volume of traffic per 1 km) is 3-5 times higher than in European countries.
The Ukrainian railway transport system is augmented by the main trans-European transport corridors (East – West, Baltic Sea – Black Sea). The railway of Ukraine directly borders and cooperates with railways of Russia, Byelorussia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and operates tightly with 40 international railway cross-walks and seaports of the Black and Azov Seas.
Three railway corridors – № 3, 5, 9 – go through the territory of Ukraine. The interaction with the pan-European corridor № 7, which goes through Danube river is carried out through the Ukrainian ports of Izmail and Reni. Today, the length of the rail transit corridors in Ukraine amount to 3,162 km. These are mainly two-track electrified, equipped with automatic blocking systems railways, characterized by the high use of technical facilities. Furthermore, transportation through the international transport corridor TRACECA (Europe - Caucasus – Asia) is being developed too.