Accelerated increase in container volumes at the Port of Gothenburg

28 October 2022

The situation continues to be strained in the global transport system. Consequential effects of closures, congestion and the issue of bottlenecks all represent continued problems in the logistics chain. Freight volumes at the Port of Gothenburg are, however, continuing to increase in all segments except one Ė this is evident in the portís volume summary up to and including the third quarter of the year.

"We see a continuation of the upward trend that began in connection with the pandemic. Product owners are attracted to the major freight hubs, which is very clear at the Port of Gothenburg. We have a broad, global route network, large vessels with direct services to important markets, the robust infrastructure, reliable terminal management and the hinterland railway links that the industry needs to secure its competitive strength," says Elvir Dzanic, CEO at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

The port is increasing its market share in Sweden* in all segments. The Port of Gothenburg has a 53% share of the Swedish container market, which is an increase of three percentage points compared with the first half of 2021. The Port of Gothenburg also increased its market share for containers compared with nearby major ports in Northern Europe.

"Thereís no loyalty in the logistics system. The winners are the ones who best meet the needs of customers, based on a combination of efficiency, reliability, flexibility and climate benefit. If you don't deliver on these parameters, the freight will quickly find other routes. So itís a question of constantly continuing to develop and create added value for customers. Otherwise youíll soon find yourself playing catch-up," says Elvir Dzanic.

Eight consecutive quarters of container growth
Despite the high level of uncertainty in the market, more and more containers continue to be handled at the Port of Gothenburg, and the rate of growth has accelerated during the year. In total, 655,000 TEUs** were handled up to and including September, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period last year. This yearís third quarter is the eighth in a row in which the port has seen growth in container volumes. The majority of the portís container volumes are handled by terminal operator APM Terminals.

The long trend of increased container volumes being transported by rail to and from the portís inland terminals across the country is becoming increasingly clear. The volume of container freight being transported by rail increased by 13% to 385,000 TEUs. The increase is in both long-distance and short-distance traffic, although the biggest increase is evident in long-distance traffic to and from Northern Sweden.

Image by Port of Gothenburg

New vehicles, ro-ro, energy and dry bulk
The vehicle segment continues to be adversely affected by issues including the component shortage and low levels of new car sales both in Sweden and abroad. The number of new vehicles handled at the port totalled 155,300. This is a drop of 18% compared with 2021, but compared with the market as a whole, the Port of Gothenburg has performed better than many other ports, both in Sweden and on the continent. The port continues to be Swedenís biggest vehicle port, now by a bigger margin than before.

Intra-European ro-ro traffic continues to increase. During the first nine months, the volume of ro-ro traffic increased by 2%, to 426,000 units. This is in comparison with the same period in 2021.

The handling of energy products increased by 11% during the January-September compared with the same period last year. Both unloading of refined products and storage of unrefined products are maintaining high volumes.

The handling of dry bulk continues to increase. A total of 284,000 tonnes were handled, representing an increase of 56%. It is primarily exports of forestry products on side-loading ships, as well as stone that account for this increase.

Passengers and cruises
Travel activities really took off during the summer months. Up to and including September, the port welcomed 68 cruise ships. That represents an all-time high for the port. When it comes to passenger numbers (ferries + cruise ships), the number increased by 121% during the period. This is still, however, a little way short of a normal year in terms of passenger numbers.

Volumes at the Port of Gothenburg, Q3 2022

* Swedenís market shares are compiled by the industry organisation Ports of Sweden. There is a slight time lag Ė the latest figures available refer to the first half of 2022.

** A TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) corresponds to one twenty-foot container.

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 over 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 over 30 rail shuttles offering daily departures, companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct, climate-neutral service to the Port of Gothenburg. The port handles energy products, vehicles, ro-ro units, containers and passengers. 22,000 people are employed at the port.

Port of Gothenburg press release