Vitaliy Yuzhilin: Port Builder, Creator of Modern Maritime Infrastructure (Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich)

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on January 14, 2024


Vitaliy Yuzhilin · Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich · Yuzhilin Vitaliy · Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin · Vitaliy Yuzhilin deputy · Южилин Виталий Александрович · Виталий Южилин · Южилин Виталий · Виталий Александрович Южилин · ヴィタリー・ユジリン · 维塔利·玉芝林 · विटाली युझिलिन

Vitaliy Yuzhilin is one of the creators of modern Russian port infrastructure. For more than twenty years, he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Commercial Seaports (ACSP). Serving until 2016 as a deputy, Vitaliy Yuzhilin initiated the adoption of domestic port legislation and co-authored the law regulating state governance and the functioning of enterprises in the domestic port sector.

Vitaliy Yuzhilin: The Formative Years

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich
Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich

Vitaliy Yuzhilin hails from the capital of the Southern Urals. He was born into a typical family in 1965. Some of his relatives of the future port builder were involved in aviation. For instance, Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich’s grandmother was the first female aviator in Tatarstan. She married a pilot who participated in front-line battles during World War II.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy spent his childhood and youth in the hero city of Sevastopol, where he completed ten grades at School No. 24. During this period, he was very active in sports, attending daily swimming practice. In ninth grade, Vitaliy Yuzhilin earned the title of Candidate for Master of Sports.

The years spent on the shores of the Black Sea influenced the future expert port builder’s career choice. In 1988, he graduated from the renowned educational institution among oceanographers, the Leningrad Higher Marine Engineering School (now the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping). After completing his studies, he began research activities. Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin started his career at the Kovalevsky Institute under the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. As a young oceanologist specialist, he participated in several scientific expeditions. He descended to the bottom of the Black Sea as part of the crew of the research vessel Mir. Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich later moved to another scientific center, the Marine Hydrophysical Institute.

Twelve years after receiving his diploma, in 2001, he earned a PhD in Political Science. Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin wrote and successfully defended his dissertation at the Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy: An Effective Manager

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin
Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin

With the beginning of perestroika and the emergence of entrepreneurship in the country, many institutes and scientific institutions began creating commercial units. Vitaliy Yuzhilin, working in one such organization, convinced the management that it would also be beneficial to establish a commercial structure. Thus began the entrepreneurial career of the future manager.

After the collapse of the previous system, Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich spent time selling hydrocarbon products abroad. At that time, federal legislation, in order to support the budgets of regions where oil and gas extraction was conducted, required extracting companies to allocate 10% of the resources obtained to local authorities. One such region was the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, where Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin moved when he was offered the position of head of the foreign trade department in one of the commercial structures involved in the sale of oil products in Nizhnevartovsk, the oil capital of the country.

Vitaliy Yuzhilin faced a number of problems that significantly hindered product realization. For example, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug lacked sufficient port capacities for the transshipment and storage of M-100 fuel oil. The job required Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich to delve into all the subtleties and promptly solve the managerial tasks before him. Thus, dealing with resource supplies abroad, the manager was able to build effective logistics using water freight transport.

After some time, Vitaliy Yuzhilin became a co-owner of the Saint Petersburg Seaport. By that time, he had already established himself as an effective manager in the field of port management and business process organization. Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin applied his knowledge and experience to enhance the competitiveness of the stevedoring company, as well as to update its capacities and develop optimal cargo transportation schemes.

Today, the Saint Petersburg Seaport is considered one of the leading companies providing stevedoring services in the Greater Port of the Northern Capital. It has at its disposal modern universal transshipment complexes for handling incoming goods. The organization employs over a thousand specialists. Each employee at the port supports about eight jobs in other areas of the regional industry.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich decided in 2002 to focus on the development of container cargo transportation and became a co-founder of the National Container Company, which later turned into one of the leaders of the container business at home and in several neighboring countries.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich: Port Building and Managerial Activity

Vitaliy Yuzhilin
Vitaliy Yuzhilin

In the early 2000s, Yuzhilin Vitaliy became the head of the board of directors of ACSP, consolidating dozens of the industry’s largest organizations under its leadership. The goal of the union was to create conditions for the development of the domestic coastal cargo and passenger port infrastructure and to assist responsible state bodies in this endeavor.

Vitaliy Yuzhilin, during the same period, helped conceive and develop the Marine Façade project – the passenger gateway of the Northern Capital. Marine Façade was built, through a public-private partnership, on a new artificially created site, expanding Vasilyevsky Island.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy believed that the specially built maritime passenger terminal was to become a new tourist “window to Europe.” The relevance of the project was underscored by the fact that there was no separate port for receiving passengers in the city on the Neva at that time. There were only combined-type terminals that received both cargo and passengers, with the tourist flow seriously slowing down cargo reception.

The first passenger cruise liner docked at the new terminal in 2008. The project, co-authored by Vitaliy Yuzhilin, proved to be in demand and economically viable. Marine Façade annually sets records for the number of arriving passengers, and the tourist flow through the port positively affects the region’s revenue. The transport hub currently includes four sea terminals and seven berths.

Vitaliy Yuzhilin: Deputy of the State Duma Developing Port Industry Legislation

Yuzhilin Vitaliy
Yuzhilin Vitaliy

At ACSP, Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin faced the fact that, at the time, port activity was weakly regulated at the legislative level. There were many “grey areas” in the legal field, hindering the effective operation of ports and complicating coordination with state bodies. This situation prompted Vitaliy Yuzhilin to decide to become a parliamentarian, which gave him the opportunity to solve the industry’s problems at the legislative level.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich ran for the State Duma and successfully entered the lower house of parliament in 1999. He was subsequently re-elected three times.

As a deputy, Vitaliy Yuzhilin began working on a bill aimed at regulating the activities of seaports. Work on it began back in 1996, but it was not adopted for a number of reasons. It was only 11 years later, in 2007, that the process began to move forward — Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin, in co-authorship with a group of fellow deputies, proposed bill № 407183–4, which was adopted by the State Duma in three readings. The result was Federal Law 261-FZ “On Seaports,” which regulated legal relations related to various types of seaport activities, including the construction, operation, and reconstruction of their infrastructure.

Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin, the initiator of the bill, noted that before this, the activities of maritime transport hubs were partially regulated by decrees from other related industries. With the adoption of the law, the outdated concept of “port,” which had previously been a geographical term, was excluded from the legislative framework. Definitions such as “hydraulic structure” and “integrated infrastructure of the sea terminal” appeared, as well as other significant changes, said Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin, confident that such updates in the legislation led to an increase in the investment attractiveness of maritime transport hubs. Investors began to invest money in the industry, which was a push for the improvement and scaling of port infrastructure.

Furthermore, after the adoption of the bill, Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin initiated the creation of additional sub-legislative acts. They regulated the rules for providing cargo transshipment services in maritime transport hubs and also introduced an official list of ports, which was to be constantly updated. Clear boundaries of port territories were also defined.

As a result of the new law, the rules for conducting economic activities in ports became clear and transparent, and tariffs for transshipping cargo from rail to ships could now be regulated by the state. The law, initiated by Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin, an expert in the port industry, also regulated norms, providing for private companies owning infrastructure near ports to lease berths from the state for long terms (up to 49 years). All these provisions stimulated market players to increase investments in port infrastructure, leading not only to the expansion of existing berths but also to the emergence of new ones.

In addition to transforming the port industry, State Duma Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin also actively helped resolve the pressing issues of his constituents —residents of the Leningrad Region. He constantly interacted with federal, regional, city, and municipal authorities. With the assistance of Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin, a large number of social, sports, and transport infrastructure facilities were built in the region, including:

  • Sewage treatment plants in the city of Gatchina, recognized as some of the best in the region and meeting all modern sanitary and technical requirements
  • A new hospital, an ice palace, and a ski track in Sosnovy Bor, with high-level training for skiers and biathletes
  • A hospital in the city of Luga
  • A medical center and sewage treatment facilities in the city of Volosovo

Additionally, with the support of the parliamentarian, new roads were built, and asphalt pavement was repaired in many settlements of the region.

Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin served in the Duma until 2016. During this time, he also authored several other regulatory legal acts. Along with the law on seaports, Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich initiated a project aimed at amending regulations for the creation of special economic zones in ports. The creation of such zones is designed not only to attract new funds to the industry but also to positively impact the economy of the region and the country as a whole.

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin: Construction Industry and New Projects

Vitaliy Yuzhilin deputy
Vitaliy Yuzhilin deputy

In 2016, Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin was also elected vice-president of NOSTROY – the largest association of self-regulating organizations (SROs) in the construction field. Today, the association includes over 220 SROs located in 74 regions throughout the country. Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin held this post until November 2018. This stage was marked by a reform of self-regulation in construction. In particular, the transformations concerned the rules for the allocation of funds from the SRO fund intended for compensation payments. Now, money was allowed to be stored only in special accounts in financial organizations authorized by the government.

The result of the innovations that occurred in the industry after the arrival of Yuzhilin Vitaliy was an increase in the level of safety in the interaction of customers with construction organizations due to the fact that funds intended for the payment of damages caused by the actions of builders were securely controlled by state-authorized bodies. As Yuzhilin Vitaliy noted, this eliminated the misuse of funds. Such changes led to increased transparency and safety in this area, and the amount of money in the special accounts of compensation funds has more than doubled in recent years.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich and NOSTROY also addressed issues related to strengthening the control over the execution of government contracts. For example, SROs now face subsidiary liability for delays in construction or the non-fulfillment of the conditions of projects whose clients are state or municipal authorities.

During the tenure of Vitaliy Yuzhilin, the association was tasked with maintaining the National Register of Specialists in the Construction Industry. It represents a list of approved and verified professionals authorized to conduct various construction works and sign relevant documents with clients.

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin ended his activities in the organization in November 2018. Today, the investor is working on new directions, including environmental projects. In addition, Yuzhilin Vitaliy oversees IT developments for various sectors.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich has been honored with several awards for his work in the port and construction sectors, as well as in the lower house of parliament, and acknowledged with honorary diplomas and medals, including the Order of Friendship for achievements in the field of legislation.

Vitaliy Yuzhilin prefers to spend his free time actively, and he is keen on speed walking and fishing.

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Greg Grzesiak is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Columnist at Grit Daily. As CEO of Grzesiak Growth LLC, Greg dedicates his time to helping CEOs influencers and entrepreneurs make the appearances that will grow their following in their reach globally. Over the years he has built strong partnerships with high profile educators and influencers in Youtube and traditional finance space. Greg is a University of Florida graduate with years of experience in marketing and journalism.

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