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Rise in exports through the Port of Gothenburg

Press release   •   Aug 19, 2013 14:21 BST

The number of export containers passing through the Port of Gothenburg increased by four per cent through to the end of June. At the same time, imports fell by one per cent. Overall, container trade improved by two per cent during the first six months of this year.

Around 30 per cent of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg and over 60 per cent of all container movements.

"Swedish foreign trade has remained relatively strong in an unsettled world economy. A clear trend is that volumes during the second quarter are better in the majority of freight categories compared to the first quarter," says Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive.

In total, 466,000 containers* were shipped via the Port of Gothenburg between January and June, two per cent up on the same period last year.

Mixed fortunes in Europe
For rolling goods transported by sea within Europe – ro-ro traffic – a mixed picture is emerging. In the case of trailers, volumes remain unchanged compared to the first half of 2012.

"Stabilisation in trailer traffic could be an indication that European flows have bottomed out after several years of decline," says Magnus Kårestedt.

However, because other ro-ro freight volumes are falling, particularly paper, the overall figure for ro-ro units is down three per cent.

"These are tough times for the forestry industry and this is very noticeable in the decrease in paper flows through the Port," states Magnus Kårestedt.

Downturn at the Energy Port
Around half of Sweden's crude oil enters the country through Gothenburg. The oil is then refined into petrol, diesel or asphalt. During the first half of the year, 10.3 million tonnes of crude oil and other forms of energy were refined compared to 10.7 tonnes last year. The downtown can be explained mainly by a maintenance stoppage at one of the refineries and the closure of a berth, also for maintenance.

Fewer cars exported to Europe and the USA
The number of cars shipped via the Port of Gothenburg has been falling for a long time. During the first six months of the year, 76,000 cars were loaded or unloaded at the port, a fall of 18 per cent on the same period in 2012.  

"The decrease can be attributed largely to a downturn in the export of Volvo cars to its key markets, Europe and the USA.

For further information, contact Cecilia Carlsson, Corporate Communications Manager, Port of Gothenburg, phone +46 31 368 75 45.

* Calculated as 20-foot equivalent units (TEU). 

Volumes for the first half of 2013*


Percentage change compared to 2012

January-June  2012

January-June 2013

Containers (TEU)




Ro-ro units












Energy products, million tonnes




* All categories of goods are handled at several different terminals by different terminal companies.

Fact file: Port of Gothenburg
The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in the Nordic region with 11,000 visits by vessels each year. One-third of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg as well as 65 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.

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