During the first six months of the year, the number of containers exported via the Port of Gothenburg rose by 3 per cent. This is a new volume record and a reflection of strong Swedish export volumes to markets outside Europe. Trade flows within Europe, however, continue to be weak. This is shown in the Port of Gothenburg half-yearly report presented today.
In recent years, there have been positive signs of a strong rise in Swedish exports to markets outside Europe. This trend was confirmed by freight flows at the Port of Gothenburg during the first six months of the year. The majority of global commercial goods are packed in containers and this is where the increase is most noticeable.
“The bulk of container exports from Sweden pass through the Port of Gothenburg and these strong freight flows, mainly to Asia, are extremely encouraging," states Magnus Kårestedt, Chief Executive of the Port of Gothenburg.
Imports, however, were not quite up to the mark during the first six months with a fall of six per cent. Imports mainly take the form of consumer goods such as clothes, furniture, electronics and foodstuffs.
In total, 458,000 TEU were shipped via the Port of Gothenburg during the first six months, 2,000 more than the corresponding period last year. A major development during the spring was the decision by the shipping company alliance G6* to start a new deep-sea service between Gothenburg and Asia.
Weak European trade
The Port of Gothenburg has a number of roro-services offering regular departures to the UK, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Belgium. The roro volumes reported a fall of 4 per cent during the first six months compared with the corresponding period last year.
"A weak rate of growth in the European economy has impacted negatively on volumes. This was particularly noticeable in the downturn in paper exports," states Magnus Kårestedt.
In total, 280,000 ro-ro units were shipped during the period.
An increasing number of companies are opting to transport their goods to and from the port by rail instead of by road. During the first six months, the number of containers carried by rail increased by a record 14 per cent. Rail now accounts for around half of all land transport of containers.
Positive figures for the Energy Port
Gothenburg has the largest energy port in Scandinavia with three major refineries and three storage companies. The year started off with a fall in volumes before increasing significantly, finishing three per cent up for the period. One refined product that stands out in particular is diesel. Distribution of diesel from the port rose by 35 per cent. Half is shipped to various parts of Sweden, whilst the other half is exported. In total, two million tonnes of diesel were shipped from the Gothenburg Energy Port during the first half of the year.
Last summer saw the beginning of a negative trend for car shipments – a trend that has carried over into the first half of 2012. A total of 88,000 cars were imported and exported during the first six months of the year, a fall of 28 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year. The downturn covers both car transport within Europe and to other parts of the world.
For further information, please contact Cecilia Carlsson, Corporate Communication Manager, Port of Gothenburg, phone +46 31 731 22 45.
* The G6 Alliance comprises the shipping companies APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, MOL (Mitsui O.S.K Lines), Hapag-Lloyd AG, NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) and OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line).
The enclosed Word version of the press release includes a table showing the volume trend at the Port of Gothenburg for the first six months.
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 26 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.