History of the company

The Dnipro River

Kievan Rus Ladja, IX – XI cc

It all started with the river…

We should search for the origins of Ukrrichflot in the development of Kievan Rus rivers, as a means of contact between the ancient tribes.

One of the grandest rivers both thousands of years ago and today, flowing through centuries and landmarks is the Great Dnipro. First references to the river date back to the Greeks in the V century B.C., Herodotus called it the Borysthenes– a river from the North, and its Slavonic name during the Kievan Rus period was Slavutich As early as in those distant ages, the Dnipro river was the main and most convenient route of communication between the Slavs, the Byzanthium and the people from the East.

It was the Dnipro river that became part of the important trade route, which connected the Baltic states with the Black Sea region and, as a result, the great water Trade route “from the Varangians to the Greeks” was paved.

Shipping industry on the Dnipro river

«Bdzhilka» (the Bee), the first steamboat on the Dnipro river


The first steam-ship company (the first joint-stock steam-ship company) on the Dnipro river was established in 1835. It owned two steamships, which towed barges with stone for the constructing of the Kiev fortress and the Brovarskyi high road.


«Association of steam navigation on the Dnipro river and its feeders» was established in 1858. Then «The Second Association of steam navigation on the Dnipro river and its feeders» was established. The administrator of the Associationwas a Kiev entrepreneur, a merchant of the 1st guild - David Semenovich Margolin. It was D. Margolin who constructed the building at 12 Sahaidachnoho St. in Kiev that housed «The Second Association of steam navigation on the Dnipro river and its feeders» starting from 1892. During the Soviet era, the Association was renamed as the State shipping company and from 1992 till 2012 it was known as the «Ukrrichflot» Shipping Company.


At the beginning of the twentieth century, water transport became the main means of carriage in international trade. According to the inventory performed by the Kiev District of communication routes in 1906, there were 382 self-propelled and 2226 non-self-propelled vessels in the Dnipro river basin at the time. Vessels were discharged mostly manually, as there were no transshipping gears, except for several floating grain elevators.

«Ukrrichflot» Shipping Company

Kiev harbor view at the turn of XX century


The Dnipro river transport department was established in 1922. Since then, the official history of the company begins.

1923 – 1926

Upper-Dnipro shipping company with headquarters in Kyiv and Lower-Dnipro shipping company with headquarters in Kherson were established. Later on, the companies merged into the Dnipro shipping company. Within as little as a year, the Dnipro shipping company grew into a large enterpriseand, during the following five years, deep economic changes took place in the Dnipro region which transformed the river industry.


The Dnipro hydro-electric power station, dam and flood gate began to operate. The Dnipro river became available for navigation from the headstream to the estuary. As a consequence, the economic value of the Dnipro river rose sharply, hundreds of new steam and non-steam ships, shipyards and workshops were built. Major ports, such as Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, appeared on the shores of the Dnipro river, a new port which became the biggest on the Dnipro river, the Zaporizhzhye River Port, was established and duly equipped.

1941 – 1945

In June 22, 1941 the ship masters of Dnipro shipping company, who were sailing down the Dnipro, Dniester, Prypiat and Desna rivers, received the order to change their course and head to a check point. By the outbreak of the war, the Dnipro shipping company had 271 units of self-propelled fleet and 624 units of non-self-propelled fleet.

Major tasks of the Ukrainian river transport workers during the first period of the The Soviet period of the Second World War included the arrangement of the crossing of the Dnipro and Dniester rivers and their feeders by major military forces and the evacuation of the civilian population. River transport workers did not bow their heads during Nazi invasion and showed wonders of heroism by arranging troops and equipment transportation.

In 1941 – 1945, the economy of the Dnipro river basin suffered enormous losses. Most of the river fleet was sunk and several hundred vessels were lost. The river economy turned out to be ruined in most of the major river stations. With the deliverance of the Dnipro shores from the enemy military – recovery troops performed ships salvage from the water, carried out repair works in all spheres of river economy and organized operational activity for military and economic cargoes transportation. The enormous volume of recovery works on the Dnipro river called for great efforts, creativity and resourcefulness. As early as in May, Dnipro and Dnipro-Dvinskiy (renamed to Upper-Dnipro shipping company in 1947) shipping companies resumed their work, and the volume of transportation on the Dnipro river doubled when compared to 1944.

Mykolaiv River Port


The Dnipro shipping company received the status of Central Administration of River Fleet, affiliated with the USSR Cabinet of Ministers in 1965. Thus, geography and transportability were expanded. Together with the growth of transportation on the Dnipro river and minor rivers, the Central Administration of River Fleet started mastering non-transshipment carriage of export-import cargoes, between the ports of Danube, the Black sea and Mediterranean sea. It became possible due to a high level of work management, availability of highly-qualified personnel and ships of combined « sea-river» type with cargo capacity of 2000 – 3500 tons.


Main stage of construction of the Mykolaiv river port took place from 1965 to 1969, construction of the Mykolaiv quay – until 1963. The history of the port begins with 1882, when Russian joint-stock steamship company with passenger vessels and cargo vessels carrying grain, granite and lignum fossil operated on the South Bug river.


The Central Administration of River Fleet was reorganized into the «Central Administration of River Fleet» Industrial Association of the USSR Ministry of Transport.


In December 29, 1989 a directive of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers for the establishment of the first intersectoral state association of river transport in the republic – the ISA «Ukrrichflot» - was issued.

Dnipropetrovsk River Port. Discharge of the «Mekhanik Cherevko»


The Joint-stock Shipping company «Ukrrichflot» was established on the basis of the «Central Administration of River Fleet». At the time, river transport performed most of the domestic (coastal) shipments of economic cargoes, as well as the main portion of export-import shipments.


The JSSC «Ukrrichflot» started working on a newbuilding project of new “Desna” type dry-cargo ships with cargo capacity of 3500 tons.

The «Mykola Slavov»

2005 – 2007

Implementation of the program for newbuilding of modern “Bug” type ships with cargo capacity of 6300 tons and five “Europe-M” type non-self-propelled barges.

Ukrrichflot today

Metal scrap and river sand loading. Zaporizhzhia River Port

Today, JSSC «Ukrrichflot» is a major private corporation, offering its clients integrated logistics solutions. Availability of a powerful fleet – about 100 ships of various types, including convoys (tugs and vessels with barges) and its own ports, enables the Company to perform river and sea carriage of varying complexity.

The Company also includes a shipbuilding-shipyard division which provides ships’ maintenance, a grain silo rendering services in grain, oil crops and technical crops acceptance, loading, accumulation and storage.

Silo at the territory of Dnipropetrovsk River Port (built and put in commission in 2012)

Today, the main goal of JSSC «Ukrrichflot» is the development of Ukrainian river transport infrastructure followed by the provision of a wide range of services in the sphere of river and sea carriage, port and stevedoring activity.

JSSC «Ukrrichflot» holds the official status of a National transport operator of Ukraine, ISO 9001 and Quality and safety management system certification. The Company is also a member of the Bratislava Agreements and an active partner of the Danube Steamship Line Directors Conference (DSLDC).

History of the company
JSSC «Ukrrichflot»
Адрес:8 Elektrykiv Str., Kyiv, 04071, Ukraine
Телефон:Tel.: +38 (044) 594 57 88
Tel./fax: +38 (044) 490 66 48
, E-mail: E-mail: info@ukrrichflot.ua
JSSC «Ukrrichflot»
Адреса: 8 Elektrykiv Str., Kyiv, 04071, Ukraine
Tel.: +38 (044) 594 57 88
Tel./fax: +38 (044) 490 66 48
E-mail: info@urf.ua