Rail fright continues to increase in the port of Gothenburg

10:50 - 03 Jun 2019 / News

During the past year, rail-borne container volumes to and from the Port of Gothenburg rose by 13 per cent. During 2019, volumes have continued to increase – through April by 18 per cent. The explanations include improvements in the port's infrastructure.

Another train set connecting the Port of Gothenburg with the Scandinavian hinterland. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

Several interrelated factors explain the increase in rail-borne goods in the Port of Gothenburg. The reliability of the port's rail system has increased with the expansion and refurbishment of the Port Line* leading into the port. Inside the terminals, efficiency has increased, partly due to APM Terminal's extensive investments in the container terminal's rail handling.

”I am happy to state that this positive trend is continuing and that the volume development within the Railport system is further on the increase. With large completed and planned rail connected investments, we have also secured capacity for further long-term growth,” said Claes Sundmark, Vice President, Container, Ro-Ro and Rail at Gothenburg Port Authority.

In total, 149,000 TEU** of rail-borne container goods was transported to or from the port as a whole between January and April, compared to 126,000 TEU during the same period last year.

High pressure at transloading terminals
Much of the long-distance freight is made up of Swedish basic industry products such as steel, paper, pulp and timber, which are generally transported by rail from inland locations or the east coast to the Port of Gothenburg for onward transport by sea to export markets on the continent.

The freight often needs to be switched to containers at one of the three transloading terminals at the Port of Gothenburg. One of the transloading terminal operators are Mimab, who has had a successful run.

Inside the Mimab facility at the Port of Gothenburg. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

“We had an excellent year and a particularly good autumn, when we were working at full capacity. The trend has continued into 2019 with consistently high volumes. And there are no signs of a slow-down. On the contrary, the upturn looks set to continue,” said Michael Bergman, Mimab Chief Executive, as he summed up Mimab’s 2018 operations earlier this year.

After a successful 2018 with a 20 per cent upturn in volumes for Mimab, the development in the first four months of 2019 have indeed turned out to be even more successful, as volumes increased by 32 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

 

* The Port Line, the dedicated freight track that runs directly into the port, is being overhauled and converted into a double-track system. Several sections have already been completed, including the new double-track Marieholm Bridge, which opened back in 2016. Phase 2 was recently completed, bringing rail traffic all the way into the Container Terminal. Phase 3 of conversion of the Port Line to a double-track system is due to commence in 2019.

** TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) is a volume measurement corresponding to a twenty-foot container.

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