Volumes increase at the Port of Gothenburg as transport demand remains high

1 November 2021

Freight volumes continue to increase at the Port of Gothenburg. This can be seen from newly published figures covering the period up to the end of September. On the container side, volumes rose by 16 per cent during the third quarter, despite continued disruption in global freight flows in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The demand for transport within the logistics system remains high. The pandemic may be levelling out, but there is still a serious backlog at many major ports throughout the world. However, the Port of Gothenburg volume figures viewed in isolation show few signs of global disruption.

“We have continued to report excellent figures, underpinned by the enormous effort being made by many of those working in and around the port who are constantly striving to keep flows moving despite global disruption. It is vital that that we keep adapting to this ongoing disruption to alleviate repercussions here at home,” said Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive.

The container terminal, which is run by APM Terminals, handle the majority of the port’s container flows. A high level of productivity has been maintained and additional resources have been put in to receive extra calls as well as vessels that have been delayed.

At the Port of Gothenburg the balance between containers imported and exported is essentially 50-50, which means that as one container with import goods is emptied, it can be quickly loaded with export goods and vice versa.

“As a result, the global container shortage is not having the same impact in Gothenburg as at many other ports. A further key factor is that we have expanded our market share during the year at the expense of Swedish ports that are predominantly import- or export-oriented,” said Elvir Dzanic.

At the Port of Gothenburg both short-sea and deep-sea container traffic (within/outside Europe) have increased, most noticeably in the short-sea sector, which rose by 23 per cent during the third quarter.

Increase in rail transport mitigates driver shortage
The Port of Gothenburg is one of the few ports in the world where the majority of inland transport takes place by rail. Not only is it an environmentally friendly means of transporting freight by land, it is also efficient and reliable – particularly in the light of the current shortage of truck drivers in the EU.

At the Port of Gothenburg, container transport by rail was up 12 per cent during the third quarter, which is the equivalent of about 10,000 transports by truck. The upturn can be attributed largely to growth in traffic, extra trains in the existing system, and the inclusion of new destinations.


Image by Port of Gothenburg

Handling of new vehicles at the port fell by 9 per cent during the third quarter – mainly due to the global shortage of semiconductors and components, which continues to blight the automotive industry. Nevertheless, volumes for the year through to September increased by 22 per cent. The backbone volumes from Volvo Cars topped with new import customers such as Tesla, Honda and Lynk & Co confirm that the Port of Gothenburg remains the largest vehicle port in Sweden.

The Port’s intra-European ro-ro traffic – wheeled cargo to and from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, and the central European hubs of Ghent and Zeebrugge in Belgium – rose by 9 per cent during the third quarter. All markets have reported positive growth.

Passenger traffic is in a period of recovery. Passenger numbers for the third quarter doubled compared with last year. Cruise traffic has also recovered strongly with 60 calls between January and September compared with what was in effect a shutdown in 2020.

After remaining low for the first half of the year, growth in demand for energy productscan be noted in the port’s handling figures. Volumes were up 6 per cent during the third quarter.

Dry bulk, such as sand, gravel, and project cargo including for example prefabricated building sections and modules, pipes, and bridge elements, rose by 5 per cent during the year. The rise is linked in part to the fact that a large number of components used in the current infrastructure projects in Gothenburg arrive by sea.





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.

Port of Gothenburg press release