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The first data about the Russian navigation on the Danube go back to the XIXth century. As far as our region is concerned, it is known that the Izmail merchantmen had in their ownership 20 ships and the Reni merchantmen owned 5 ships.

The development of the Danube ports relates to the middle of the XIXth century. Thus, only in 1846 143 ships called Izmail, including 50 Russian ships, 45 Turkish ships, 38 Greek ships, 8 Austrian ships and 2 English ships.

The Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War (1853 – 1856) raised difficulties to the development of the commerce on the Danube. Within 20 years Russia was actually taken off the Danube.
After the Russia’s victory in the Russian-Turkish War of 1877 – 1878 the frontier of Russia was established along the Kiliya Girlo of the Danube and along the Prut river.

At the beginning of the 80-s of the XIXth century the task of establishment of the Russian steamship society on the Danube was set before the Russian government. On the 3rd of July, 1881 “The Regulations on the urgent commodities and passengers steamship service between Odessa and Izmail with a call at Kiliya and Reni ” were approved.

The pathfinder in establishment of the regular Danube trade became the Prince Yuriy Gagarin. His aim was to open the way for the Russian commercial fleet to the Danube.

In 1883 the first Russian steamship society “Prince Yuriy Gagarin and Co” appeared on the Danube. From November, 8 (21), 1883 first in the history of the home commercial shipping on the Danube Russia established the regular international commercial relations with the Danube states.

In 1886 the steamship society of the prince Gagarin was reorganized into the shareholding society named “Black Sea – Danube steamship company”.

On October, 14, 1944 in accordance with the decision of the USSR State Committee of Defence in order to provide carriage of the Soviet troops and military equipment as well as the cargoes pertaining to the national economy along the Danube the Soviet Danube State Shipping Company was established in Izmail.

The ships of the Soviet Danube State Shipping Company annually carried 70% of all Danube cargoes, generally, metal, grain, ore, equipment and these shipments made the Soviet Danube State Shipping Company the monopolist on the Danube river.

In 1957 the deep-water channel Prorva was open in the Kiliya part of the Danube delta, which fact contributed to the development of the maritime shipments and the SDP fleet.

At the end of 50-es the SDP started the work on the international maritime lines.

On May, 19, 1978 on the basis of the intergovernmental agreement of four countries – Bulgaria, Hungary, USSR and Czechoslovakia – the international economic shipping enterprise “Interlighter” was created. BRP, MAHART, SDP and CHSPD became its members. The activity of this international enterprise was aimed at the cargoes transportation in lighters without transshipment between the Danube countries and the countries of the South and South-East Asia.

In the 80-s the Soviet Danube Shipping Company was the large complex enterprise. Only its transport fleet numbered more than 1000 units with deadweight of about 1MIO.tons. The SDP effected shipment of the foreign trade cargoes of our country, cargoes of the foreign owners in the basin of the Danube river as well as to the ports of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the seas of the South-East Asia, West and Northern Europe.

The annual volume of the shipping operations made up 11,5 – 12 MIO tons. The UDP vessels annually called more than 150 ports in the various countries of the world.

In 1983 the Soviet Danube Shipping Company was decorated with an order of Friendship of Nations.

In 2003 the status of the national carrier was given to the JSC “Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company.”

In its activity the UDP is guided by rendering of the transport services to the legal entities and to the individuaks with the guaranteed quality of shipment, convenience and safety of delivery of the cargoes and passengers. The company directs its attention to the satisfaction of needs and interests of the client as well as to the development of the long-standing cooperation.

JSC “Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company” is one of the first-rate shipping companies not only in Ukraine, but in the Western Europe as well. During the years of its activity the company has gained the authority of the reliable partner and of undoubted leader in rendering of the transport services and maintaining of the proper safety level of shipment. Many Ukrainian and international awards confirm this fact, such as: the “Golden Fortune”, the Certificate on the membership in the rating of the best companies of Ukraine, nomination in the “Golden book of the Ukrainian elite”.
The basic documents confirming the high quality of the company’s work are the ISM Code Certificate in respect of the Safety Management System and the Certificate of Compliance to the Quality Management System ISO 9002. 
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