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August 23, 2021

Gothenburg Port H1 new vehicles handling up 38%

Some 30% of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg.

By Simon Warburton

Sweden’s Port of Gothenburg says handling of new vehicles increased by 38% during the first six months, due mainly to the Volvo companies regaining lost ground.

Freight volumes have risen at the Port of Gothenburg during the first six months of the year, reaching their highest during the second quarter.

This was despite major disruptions in global freight flows in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent impact on logistics systems.

The vast majority of Swedish foreign trade takes place by sea. In the case of trade with countries outside Europe, freight is generally transported by container ship. At the Port of Gothenburg, the largest port in Scandinavia, 411,000 containers were handled during the first half of 2021; an increase of 2%.

Containerised freight movements to and from the port are taking place increasingly by rail and the trend seems due to continue. This is largely as a result of growth in traffic on new routes and the addition of rail destinations in the spring.

During the first half of the year, the increase in rail-borne container freight rose by 11% and by 19% in Q2. During the second quarter, the proportion of rail-borne container freight to and from the port was 70%.

“This is an exceptional outcome, putting us firmly at the forefront internationally” said Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive, Elvir Dzanic.

“It is a tangible endorsement of our highly efficient rail concept, which is proving extremely popular among freight owners and something we will continue to develop.”

Freight volumes for the port’s intra-European ro-ro traffic increased by 14% during the first six months. All destinations in Germany, the Benelux and the UK, were positive, including container volumes on the routes.

Handling of new vehicles at the port increased by 38% during the first six months, due mainly to Volvo’s improved business. Passenger traffic at the port first began to show signs of recovery during the second quarter, with ferry passengers up 41% due to the let-up in COVID-19 restrictions during the spring.

Nevertheless, a fall of 43% was reported for January-June.

“Bearing in mind the challenges we have faced during the first half of the year our volume figures overall are quite a feat, reflecting creative solutions and hard work put in by freight owners, forwarding companies, terminal operators, rail operators, and others involved in and around the Port of Gothenburg,” added Dzanic.

“The positive trend during Q2 compared with Q1 can be seen in almost every area.”

The only sector not to have increased during the first six months was energy products, with volumes down by 17% to 9.8m tonnes. Volumes were unusually high during the first half of 2020, as a result of low oil prices while 2021 was marked by a fall in demand, a turbulent market and price rises.

In June, Gothenburg Port Authority signed a declaration of intent with construction company, Castellum, regarding a joint venture to develop, plan, build and manage logistics properties nearby.

The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in the Nordic region. Some 30% of Swedish foreign trade passes through it, as well as half of all container traffic.

The Port of Gothenburg maintains it is the only port in Sweden with the capacity to receive the world’s largest container vessels and has the broadest range of shipping routes within and outside Europe.

The 25 rail shuttles departing each day mean companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct link to the largest port in the Nordic region.

The Port of Gothenburg has terminals for oil, cars, ro-ro, containers and passengers.

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