New ferry service across the Danube between Romania and Ukraine.

A breakthrough in the logistic connections between Romania and Ukraine across the Danube river. On August 10, at 8.00 am, the Orlovka-Isakcha ferry service started working.

The border guards at the checkpoint across the state border, on the territory of the company Ferry Complex Orlovka LLC, are ready to carry out the registration of trucks, because for the moment the ferry service is limited to freight transport. In the near future, the decision of the Romanian side is expected to extend the service to all other types of vehicles.

The Orlovka – Isakcea crossing opens the direct and shortest route from Ukraine to the countries of Southern Europe and Turkey. The distance from the ferry complex “Orlovka” to the Romanian terminal “Isakcea” is only 900 meters. The ferry can cover this distance in just 10-15 minutes. Thanks to the crossing, the route between the two Countries was reduced by 200 km, and the time to process cargos was reduced by 10-12 hours.

The carrying capacity of the ferry is estimated at 200 units of trucks, 500 cars and 1500 passengers. It is planned that four ferries will operate at the crossing. With an increase in the flow of cars, it is planned to expand the capacity of the ferry crossing by building another berthing complex on the Ukrainian side, as well as by launching more spacious ferries or increasing their number. It is assumed that the ferry will run at intervals of one hour.

So far, all overland checkpoints from Ukraine to Romania were located in Chernivtsi and Transcarpathian regions. Another way to get from the Odessa region to Romania was to travel through the territory of Moldova, through Reni, Giurgiulesti and Galati. Although the border between Ukraine and Romania along the Danube is 187 kilometers, until today there were no bridges, and even no ferry crossings. In order to get from the Odessa region to neighbouring Romania, motorists had to make a “detour” about 200 kilometers long, because all road and rail crossings from Ukraine to Romania are located on the territory of Transcarpathia and Bukovina.

The construction of a ferry crossing over the Danube Orlovka – Isakcea started in the fall of 2015, but for various reasons it dragged on for actually four years. From the Ukrainian side, the construction of hydraulic structures and a checkpoint across the border was carried out by the company Ferry Complex Orlovka LLC, from the Romanian side, by Navrom Bac SRL. The Ukrainian side completed construction work several months earlier. Already in September 2019, test ferry flights were carried out, on which employees of the ferry complex, border guards and customs officers of the two countries worked out interaction with each other. The ferry was fully ready to launch by mid-March, but its opening was delayed due to epidemic situation and border closures for quarantine.

According to initial estimates, the cost of construction for Ukrainian and Romanian investors should have been around 8 million euros. But the funds spent for the arrangement of the crossing itself and the accompanying infrastructure were much more than planned. At the end of last year, the total investment in the transport corridor, which includes the Orlovka-Isakcea ferry crossing, was already estimated at 12 million euros.