Deeper fairways at the Port of Gothenburg

The Port of Gothenburg is the only port in Sweden that can receive the largest oceangoing vessels and as a result offer direct services to other continents. Freight vessels are increasing in size and the fairway leading into the port needs to be deepened by around 4 metres.

In just 10 years, the average container vessel has grown 10 times in size and the depth of the fairway leading into the Port of Gothenburg is limiting how much cargo the vessels can carry. There are also vessels that are unable to call at Gothenburg because of their draught and they are forced to bypass Sweden completely.

According to a study by the Swedish Transport Administration, the fairway needs to be deepened by around 4 metres to achieve what could be regarded as a satisfactory depth (16-17 metres). The area that would need to be deepened is almost 5 km long and the amount of material that would need to be excavated would be equivalent to 24 times the volume of the Globe Arena in Stockholm. A key element in the investment is the deepening and reinforcement of the quays, allowing more vessels with a deeper draught to be handled at the same time.

The Gothenburg Port Authority holds early dialogue to prepare for fairway project

Within the coming ten years the fairway to Port of Gothenburg is going to be deepened to prepare the port for docking the world’s largest container vessels fully loaded.

The deepening of the fairway goes along with large-scale reinforcement of the existing quays in our container terminal.

Already in this very early phase in the project, the Gothenburg Port Authority holds an early dialogue with contractors that could be interested in making a bid in future tenders regarding the reinforcements of our quay.

Interested contractors are welcome to contact the Gothenburg Port Authority to show their interest in taking part of the dialogue. Please send an e-mail to

Taking part of the dialogue neither improves nor degrades the chances of the contractor in future tenders. No information will be given which will not be included in future tender documents.

The purpose of the dialogue is to broaden our marketing knowledge. The goal is to put the Gothenburg Port Authority into the position to design the future tenders in a way that leads us, together with the contractor(s) through the project with the best possible result.

Ealy contractors dialouge


  • So much deeper it needs to be
    4 metre
  • The largest ships loads
    20 000 containers
  • The socio-economic benefit is
    very high


  • Jan Andersson
    Jan Andersson
    Senior Manager Public Affairs
    +46 31 368 75 27

The project in numbers

15 years

is the time within the entire investment would be repaid socioeconomically


Direct traffic lines to the rest of the world


percentage of Sweden's foreign trade is transported by shipping

The image shows the area in the port of Gothenburg that needs to be deepened.

The socioeconomic benefit (BCR – benefit-cost ratio) of the investment is very high. According to Transport Administration calculations, every krona invested would produce four in return. The high benefit-cost outcome for the project would also mean that the entire investment would be repaid socioeconomically within just 15 years. 

Many of the larger vessels that call at Gothenburg on a regular basis with Swedish import and export goods have a draught of up to 16 metres, far deeper than the current limit of 13.5 metres.

Container vessels that call at the Port of Gothenburg can carry between 1,000 and 19,500 containers.

After the fairways have been deepened by 3-4 metres, all vessels carrying more than 5,000 containers will be able to put into port carrying a higher volume of cargo than is presently the case. 

When will vessels be able to call at the Port of Gothenburg without any limitations? If everything proceeds according to plan, work on deepening the fairways can commence at some point after 2023. It will then take a few years before the work is finally completed.

Our fairway needs to be deeper

Time plan

  • 2017January


  • 2025December