Belgium is Sweden’s eighth largest export market. The Swedish shipping company SOL is about to expand its departure frequency between the Port of Gothenburg and the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. The change will offer greater scope for Swedish import and export companies to ship freight to and from Belgium.
Gothenburg-based shipping company Swedish Orient Line, SOL, is about to expand its departure frequency between Gothenburg and the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. The company’s vessels will now depart from Gothenburg seven times a week.
“We’ve seen an amazing increase in volumes during the past year and we’ve hit the ceiling in terms of capacity. To meet the increase in demand, we’re planning to expand our capability to ensure we can continue to offer our customers an efficient system with a first-rate level of service,” said Ragnar Johansson, Chief Executive of Swedish Orient Line.
To handle the additional departures, the company has brought a new vessel into service – Ark Forwarder. The 185-metre vessel will call at the Gothenburg Roro* Terminal. The first departure will be this Thursday. The voyage to Zeebrugge takes approximately 36 hours.
16 calls to and from Belgium each week
The Port of Gothenburg now offers five ro-ro services to Belgium with a total of 16 calls each week. Apart from SOL, the ro-ro companies CLdN and DFDS Seaways also operate services to Belgium – to Zeebrugge and Ghent respectively.
“Zeebrugge is an important freight hub for many Swedish import and export companies that operate in Belgium and northern France,” said Jacob Minnhagen, Senior Manager, Business Development at Gothenburg Port Authority. “Further options are now available for shipping goods to and from Belgium. We’re extremely pleased that SOL is continuing to make operational investments at the Port of Gothenburg.”
Belgium is Sweden’s eighth largest export market with annual exports worth around 50 billion kronor, mainly engineering products, machinery and bearings. Many Swedish goods that are exported are transloaded in Belgium for onward movement to other markets. Imports from Belgium comprise foodstuffs, vehicles and components for Swedish industry.
* Ro-ro stands for roll-on/roll-off and refers to trailers and other wheeled cargo carried on ships that operate in regular liner traffic within Europe.
Fact file: Port of Gothenburg
The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in the Nordic region. 30 per cent of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg as well as 60 per cent of all container traffic.
The Port of Gothenburg is the only port in Sweden with the capacity to receive the world's largest container vessels and has the broadest range of shipping routes within and outside Europe. The 25 rail shuttles that depart each day mean that companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct, environmentally smart link to the largest port in the Nordic region. The Port of Gothenburg has terminals for oil, cars, ro-ro, containers and passengers.