Container volumes increased by 8% in the first quarter at the Port of Gothenburg, with no direct calls cancelled, bucking the trend of declines in cargo throughput seen at the majority of European ports.
According to Elvir Dzanic, Port of Gothenburg chief executive, the open approach adopted by Sweden to the world, and the fact that Swedish industry has continued to export during the COVID-19 pandemic, are further factors that make the Port of Gothenburg the exception in the European port statistics table.
In contrast, at the ten largest ports in Europe, container volumes fell by an average of 5% during the first quarter.
He said: “We offer a wide range of services, a highly efficient rail infrastructure, and the capacity to remain sustainable in even more testing times. Freight flows from all over the country are being concentrated increasingly on Gothenburg as companies reassess their logistics concepts.”
Dennis Olesen, chief executive of the container terminal operator APM Terminals Gothenburg, said: “The European trend is striking although at the same time we are particularly proud that thanks to our consistently high level of customer service and a flexible and developed product offering we have emerged unscathed.”
At Gothenburg, no direct calls have been cancelled – services to and from Asia using the world’s largest vessels have continued, week in, week out.
Olesen added: “Weekly services between Gothenburg and Asia have proved to be the most important lifeline for Swedish imports and exports. Ensuring traffic continues without disruption is vital.
“And we also see more goods able to become rail born and move through Gothenburg, which is reassuring as it brings continuity to Swedish trade with the world.”
Dzanic is optimistic that container traffic will continue to growth, pointing out that the port is embarking on several initiatives including deepening the fairway, enhancing transhipment potential and expanding the port’s rail concept.