PSA is avoiding congestion problems at Russia's land borders by importing finished cars directly into St Petersburg.

International Freighting Weekly reports that in February the carmaker began importing 1,500 vehicles per month through OMG Ports' Onega ro-ro terminal, also a major centre for Nissan imports.

This was driven by a 63% increase in Peugeot's sales in the Russian car market in 2007, to 36,000 units.

Vitaly Arkhangelsky, president of OMG Ports' parent company, Oslo Marine Group, said: "Around 70% of automobile imports come into Russia through Finnish ports.

"Not only is this very expensive, but they encounter major congestion problems at the Russo-Finnish border. By exporting via St Petersburg, Peugeot is gaining more direct and efficient access to Russian customers."

OMG Ports has embarked on an expansion of the Onega facility. By the end of this year, the terminal's capacity will have expanded to 150,000 units a year.