Traffic started on new container line between the Port of Gothenburg and Iceland

6 April 2023

On Wednesday, the shipping company Samskip's vessel Helgafell moored at APM Terminal's short-sea terminal in the Port of Gothenburg for the first time. From now on the traffic will call at the terminal every week and then sail on to Faroese Runavik and Reykjavik in Iceland, arriving in Rotterdam four days later.

"The new call is not only a lifeline between Iceland and Sweden, but also represents the starting point for a competitive and sustainable short-sea offer from the largest container port in the Nordics to the continent. It is very gratifying that our efforts to create conditions for well-functioning intra-European traffic from APM Terminals Gothenburg has yielded results and we are ready to meet future needs," said Brian Bitsch, Chief Commercial Officer at APM Terminals.

The service is an important supply channel for Iceland, where everything from vehicles to consumer goods such as electronics, food, clothing, medicine, and furniture is imported via Samskip. The export will mainly consist of fish and fish products, which make up about 40 percent of the value of Iceland's merchandise exports, as well as other important Icelandic export goods such as aluminum and ferrosilicon.

Samskip is a Dutch logistics company with a focus on intra-European traffic within multiple modes of transport. The companyís head office is located in Rotterdam, but was originally founded in Iceland in 1990. Since then, the business has grown continuously with a network that now spans 26 countries. For Iceland, Samskip account for the transport of approximately 40 percent of the country's total foreign trade.

"We are happy that this solution has come in to place and we see clear gains from calling at APM Terminals in Gothenburg. We look forward to being able to offer our customers the extensive rail network from APM Terminals Gothenburg to the Swedish hinterland. Shipping in combination with rail is by far the most climate-efficient way to transport containers, and sustainability is one of the most important foundations in our business," said Kenn Mellgren, Operations Manager at Samskip.

With the new container line, additional direct destinations can be added to the port's growing liner network, strengthening the Port of Gothenburg's role as the guarantor of Swedish industry's access to the world.

"The traffic is now underway and the start-up phase has worked well thanks to good cooperation between Samskip and the partners at the port. It is gratifying that we can now offer Iceland and the Faroe Islands to the total range of destinations for the port's customers," said Jacob Minnhagen, Senior Business Developer at the Gothenburg Port Authority.


Samskip vessel Helgafell approaching the APM Terminals short-sea terminal at the Port of Gothenburg. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

Transshipment, LCL consolidation, intermediate storage and containerization of the goods will take place at the warehousing and terminal operator Mimab's rail-connected terminal in the Port of Gothenburg. For Mimab, normally handling forest products, steel and project loads, the handling of the Icelandic cargo constitutes a broadening of the companyís business.

"Handling the variety of goods that will be shipped to and from Iceland via Samskip is a new opportunity for us with. We are prepared at the terminal and have had an incredibly good collaboration with Samskip before the start of the traffic, so the conditions are good and Iím certain we will handle this very well," says Dennis Alfredsson, Operations Manager at Mimab.

Samskip's ship vessel Helgafell sailed on from the Port of Gothenburg on Thursday morning, heading for the Faroe Islands and Iceland via Aarhus in Denmark.

Samskip's Gothenburg loop in its entirety:
Gothenburg-Aarhus-Runavik-Reykjavik-Grundartangi-Vestmannaeyjar-Runavik-Rotterdam-Cuxhaven-Gothenburg.

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