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  • 2022 January 21 12:13

    Freight volumes increase at the Port of Gothenburg in 2021

    In 2021, volumes at the Port of Gothenburg increased in all dry cargo segments, including containers, ro-ro, and new cars, according to the company's release.

    In contrast to Europe and the rest of the world, Sweden and Gothenburg managed to avoid abrupt pandemic-induced closures. Ample terminal space and a solid infrastructure gave the port the leeway to counteract the congestion that was becoming increasingly apparent at ports in other countries.

    The port’s rail system, Railport Scandinavia, continues to grow in terms of range and volume. In 2021, 458,000 TEUs (20-foot containers) were transported between the port and inland destinations – the highest figure ever. During the year, several new rail shuttles were introduced and the number of departures and volumes on existing shuttle routes increased.

    Some 60% of container freight passing through the port is transported by rail, offering significant climate benefits and mitigating the impact of the shortage of truck drivers.

    The port’s intra-European ro-ro traffic – the transport of wheeled cargo to and from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, and the central European hubs of Ghent and Zeebrugge in Belgium – rose by 10% during the year. All markets have reported positive growth. The car segment had its ups and downs in 2021 with the shortage of semiconductors and components continuing to cause disruptions in car production and ultimately in the number of cars handled at the port.

    Even so, the overall picture during the year was one of recovery from a weak 2020. The increase of 9% can be compared with car sales in the EU, which according to reports from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association fell by 2.4% during the past year. Large volumes of sand were imported via the Port of Gothenburg in 2021, contributing to the 7% increase in dry bulk. Some 250,000 tonnes of dry bulk were handled during the year.

    The demand for energy products fluctuated during the year due to the pandemic – a pattern that was also reflected globally. Volumes at the port increased during the third quarter although full-year volumes were down 11%. Passenger numbers were up 30% – a colossal recovery compared with the figures in 2020 following the outbreak of the pandemic and the ensuing travel restrictions. However, passenger figures are still far short of pre-pandemic levels. The cruise segment experienced similar problems in 2020 but bounced back strongly in 2021. The future The logistics system is still under considerable pressure and continues to be susceptible to disruptions resulting from the pandemic.

    The figures for the third and fourth quarters indicate a strong recovery in terms of volume and there are no signs of a slowdown in the immediate future. For the next six months at least few analysts foresee a falloff in either volumes or freight prices. Rapid changes can have monumental consequences. China reacted quickly and forcefully to minor local Covid-19 outbreaks. The subsequent impact at major ports rapidly spread through the system.

    About Port of Gothenburg

    The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in Scandinavia. Around 30% of Swedish domestic and foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg and around 50% of all container traffic. The port is a full-service port, and offers industry guaranteed, climate-smart access to the whole world. Direct services to key markets ensure highly efficient, sustainable, and reliable transport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The focus is firmly on sustainability, innovation, and digitalisation in a concerted effort to maintain the ongoing development of climate-efficient freight transport and calls by vessels. With 25 rail shuttles offering daily departures, companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct, climate-neutral service to the Port of Gothenburg. The port operates energy product, vehicle, ro-ro, container, and passenger terminals and has 22,000 employees.

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