January 13 - Ukrainian heavy lift shipping agent Varamar Odessa has opened a new office in one of Russia's most important ports while appointing a new manager to head up the office.

Oleg Bolkhovityanov will head the office in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea and support the company's move to develop new services from the Black Sea to Mediterranean and Northern European ports.

Varamar was established in 2009 and serves as a general agent for White Whale Shipping (WWS), which supplies shipping services for project, conventional and bulk cargo movements. Last year, Varamar director Alexander Varvarenko initiated the creation of the Ukrainian Shipbroker's Club (USBC) to improve the reputation of Ukrainian shipping and shipbrokers.

Novorossiysk is the country's main Black Sea port and has a population close to a quarter of a million. It is the leading Russian port for the importation of grain and is connected by rail, air and highways to the main industrial and population centres of Russia, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia. The area around Novorossiysk is one of Russia's main wine-growing regions.