New Port of Gothenburg CEO looking to boost competitiveness

01:55 - 08 Oct 2019 / News

After a little more than three months on the job of reviewing current conditions and identifying opportunities at the Port of Gothenburg, Port Authority chief executive Elvir Dzanic is determined to take the port to the next level.

Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive: "My aim is that we become the most competitive port in the world. Not the world’s largest or most profitable, but the most competitive". Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

The 36-year-old Elvir Dzanic has worked his entire professional life with logistics and transport, mainly on the maritime side. He grew up in the Gothenburg suburbs and graduated from Chalmers University of Technology. He got married in Gothenburg, and his children were born in the city. When he moved back to Gothenburg with his family from Houston where he worked previously, it felt like coming home, he says.

Why did you apply for the position of CEO at the Port of Gothenburg?

– I really didn't have any plans to move back. But when we were in Gothenburg last winter to celebrate Christmas with the family, I was out running. It was a perfect Gothenburg morning – the sun was on its way up, the air was crisp, the mist was lifting, and a Stena ferry sailed by. It was then that I realised how much I missed Gothenburg, and when I saw some time later that my predecessor Magnus Kårestedt was planning to step down, I thought "damn it, it must be fate" and I applied. That decision can also be attributed to the fact that the Port of Gothenburg has a long and illustrious history, and it has played a pivotal role in the success of Swedish companies over the past 50-60 years. And it feels reassuring that the company has environment issues high on its agenda.

What is the greatest challenge facing the Port of Gothenburg at the present time?

– The first thing I need to get my teeth into is the major investment package of nine billion kronor that the Port of Gothenburg has launched together with the city of Gothenburg. By far the heaviest investment is in the planned deepening of the fairway, which we need to make sure the largest ships can berth at the Port of Gothenburg in the future. A deeper fairway is crucial for the port and it will benefit our business.

What other areas does the Port of Gothenburg need to prioritise?

– My aim is that we become the most competitive port in the world. Not the world’s largest or most profitable, but the most competitive. Among other things we need to make our environmental work a top priority. For our customers it is important that their transport is environmentally sound. That is why I think it will be crucial that we offer them goods flows that take full account of the environment. This is exemplified by our investment in a shoreside power supply that allows ships to shut down their engines while at berth. We also need to increase freight volumes and invest in digitalisation. And last but not least, I want us to have the city's most motivated employees. Employees who are passionate about the major issues of our time, and who help make the people of Gothenburg proud of the Port of Gothenburg.

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