The construction of a second container terminal at Gdansk Port, Poland’s largest port, will begin this year, with the PLN1.2bn (US$371m) facility set to open in mid-2016.
The investment, which port operator, DCT Gdansk, are financing, will nearly treble capacity from 1.25m teu to 3.5m teu and the port will cover almost 30 ha.
Maersk has used Gdansk, which handled a record 30m tonnes of cargo in 2013, for seven years and managing director of Maersk Central Europe, Ingrid Uppelschoten-Snelderwaard, welcomed the development, saying: “”We intend to keep a strong presence in Gdansk.
“The current terminal has exhausted its capacity. The construction of T2 is good news for us, because the restrictions on services we offer to customers will disappear.
He added: “The Polish economy is growing faster than other parts of Europe, and the potential for container transport is still not fully exploited. That is why we are betting on an increase in the demand for shipping services in this region.”
The port is looking to attract the world’s largest shipping lines, with talk of alliances including the Ocean Three and G6, as well as MSC, using Gdansk in the future.
Maciek Kwiatkowski, managing director of DCT Gdansk, said: “The largest shipping groups are showing interest in transporting containers through Gdansk. We are working hard on finding new large customers.”
The region’s shipping sector is currently facing challenges including wavering demand for container transport and the new EU Sulphur Directive from January 2015, which will increase transport costs.