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Accelerated increase in container volumes at the Port of Gothenburg

09:10 - 28 Oct 2022 / Press

The situation continues to be strained in the global transport system. Consequential effects of closures, congestion and the issue of bottlenecks all represent continued problems in the logistics chain. Freight volumes at the Port of Gothenburg are, however, continuing to increase in all segments except one – this is evident in the port’s volume summary up to and including the third quarter of the year.

This year’s third quarter is the eighth in a row in which the port has seen growth in container volumes. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

“We see a continuation of the upward trend that began in connection with the pandemic. Product owners are attracted to the major freight hubs, which is very clear at the Port of Gothenburg. We have a broad, global route network, large vessels with direct services to important markets, the robust infrastructure, reliable terminal management and the hinterland railway links that the industry needs to secure its competitive strength,” says Elvir Dzanic, CEO at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

The port is increasing its market share in Sweden* in all segments. The Port of Gothenburg has a 53% share of the Swedish container market, which is an increase of three percentage points compared with the first half of 2021. The Port of Gothenburg also increased its market share for containers compared with nearby major ports in Northern Europe.

“There’s no loyalty in the logistics system. The winners are the ones who best meet the needs of customers, based on a combination of efficiency, reliability, flexibility and climate benefit. If you don't deliver on these parameters, the freight will quickly find other routes. So it’s a question of constantly continuing to develop and create added value for customers. Otherwise you’ll soon find yourself playing catch-up,” says Elvir Dzanic.

Eight consecutive quarters of container growth
Despite the high level of uncertainty in the market, more and more containers continue to be handled at the Port of Gothenburg, and the rate of growth has accelerated during the year. In total, 655,000 TEUs** were handled up to and including September, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period last year. This year’s third quarter is the eighth in a row in which the port has seen growth in container volumes. The majority of the port’s container volumes are handled by terminal operator APM Terminals.

The long trend of increased container volumes being transported by rail to and from the port’s inland terminals across the country is becoming increasingly clear. The volume of container freight being transported by rail increased by 13% to 385,000 TEUs. The increase is in both long-distance and short-distance traffic, although the biggest increase is evident in long-distance traffic to and from Northern Sweden.

New vehicles, ro-ro, energy and dry bulk
The vehicle segment continues to be adversely affected by issues including the component shortage and low levels of new car sales both in Sweden and abroad. The number of new vehicles handled at the port totalled 155,300. This is a drop of 18% compared with 2021, but compared with the market as a whole, the Port of Gothenburg has performed better than many other ports, both in Sweden and on the continent. The port continues to be Sweden’s biggest vehicle port, now by a bigger margin than before.

Intra-European ro-ro traffic continues to increase. During the first nine months, the volume of ro-ro traffic increased by 2%, to 426,000 units. This is in comparison with the same period in 2021.

The handling of energy products increased by 11% during the January-September compared with the same period last year. Both unloading of refined products and storage of unrefined products are maintaining high volumes.

The handling of dry bulk continues to increase. A total of 284,000 tonnes were handled, representing an increase of 56%. It is primarily exports of forestry products on side-loading ships, as well as stone that account for this increase.

Passengers and cruises
Travel activities really took off during the summer months. Up to and including September, the port welcomed 68 cruise ships. That represents an all-time high for the port. When it comes to passenger numbers (ferries + cruise ships), the number increased by 121% during the period. This is still, however, a little way short of a normal year in terms of passenger numbers.

Volumes at the Port of Gothenburg, Q3 2022

 

Q1-Q3 2022

Q1-Q3 2021

% Comp.

Q3 2022

Q3 2021

% Comp.

Containers, TEUs

655,000

616,000

6%

222,000

205,000

8%

Rail, TEUs

385,000

340,000

13%

127,000

111,000

15%

Ro-ro units

426,000

420,000

2%

131,000

132,000

-1%

New cars

155,000

190,000

-18%

67,000

73,000

-30%

Passengers

1,198,000

542,000

121%

185,000

67,000

81%

Cruise ship calls

68

60

13%

43

54

-20%

Energy (million tonnes)

16.4

14.7

11%

5.7

4.9

15%

Dry bulk (thousand tonnes)

284

183

56%

95

61

57%

 

 

* Sweden’s market shares are compiled by the industry organisation Ports of Sweden. There is a slight time lag – the latest figures available refer to the first half of 2022.

** A TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) corresponds to one twenty-foot container.

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