Port of Riga sets itself new goal to become region's leader in grain handling
In September of the current year, 460 thousand tons of grain products were transshipped in the port of Riga, which is a new grain cargo record within one month, the port says in a press release. In total, in the first nine months of 2020, the companies of the Freeport of Riga handled 1,971.7 thousand tons of agricultural products, which is by 27.4% more than within the same period last year.
The favorable geographical location, investments of port companies in the terminal development and competence in dry bulk cargo handling are the main pillars of the port’s competitive advantage, making it possible for the Freeport of Riga to set an ambitious goal - to become the region's leader in grain handling.
“The main preconditions for successful competing are sufficient depths to accommodate large vessels, as well as a resilient railway infrastructure providing seamless reception and processing of both grain cargo from all regions of Latvia and transit cargo. The developed infrastructure of the port terminals with sufficient agricultural cargo reception, storage and transshipment capacities also plays an important role,” said Eriks Ceseiko, Chairman of the Board of the “KS Terminal”, one of the largest agricultural cargo transshipment companies in the Freeport of Riga.
"This year's grain season has started dynamically. We have already handled almost 200 thousand tons of grain, which is the best indicator in the history of our company's grain handling. Most of the grain cargo are products of Latvian grain growers, which we receive by road from Zemgale farmers; there are also grain shipments from Latgale, which are delivered by rail, as well as grain cargo from Lithuania. Our biggest advantage in the grain market is the depth at the berths, where we can service the largest vessels entering the port of Riga. Our terminal is located on the left bank of the Daugava and is most easily reached by grain producers from Zemgale – which is traditionally called the Latvian bread barn.
Currently grain is handled at 12 terminals of the Freeport of Riga, which are easily accessible to suppliers on both banks of the Daugava.
September was a successful month for other cargo groups in the Freeport of Riga. Compared to August, the turnover of container cargo at the port has increased by 3%. In monthly terms, containers in the port of Riga were the second largest cargo group, but timber cargo ranked third. “The cargo situation in the port of Riga is changing. In recent years, the volume of fossil energy resources (coal and oil products) has decreased, while in other cargo groups - in the segments of agricultural cargo, timber and container cargo - stability or growth has been observed. There is more cargo and container cargo of Latvian origin in the port, which is a good trend, “pointed out Mr. Ansis Zeltins, the Freeport of Riga CEO.
“The advantage of the Freeport of Riga and its terminals is the ability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. If a cargo group volume decreases due to geopolitical or market situation, it does not mean that the port terminals are idle or the port ceases to operate,” added A. Zeltins.