The Port of Gothenburg, the largest port in the Nordic region, experienced a fall in freight volumes during 2009 although a recovery was noted during the second half of the year. Despite the recession, the proportion of freight transported by rail continued to increase and during the year broke all previous records.
During the first half of the year, ten per cent fewer 20-foot-equivalent units (TEU) were transported through the Port of Gothenburg compared with the corresponding period in 2008. The volumes then recovered slightly and for the full year around 818,000 TEUs passed through the port, which is five per cent down on the year before.
"We noted an improvement during the second half of the year. It was not a major upturn merely a hint of an increase. Although volumes fell overall we have fared well compared with many competing ports," stated Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg chief executive.
In the case of rolling loads (ro/ro), such as truck trailers towed on and off vessels, the second half of the year was also brighter than the first. In total, almost 504,000 ro/ro units were handled during the year, a fall of 19 per cent on 2008.
The total volume of oil handled at the port during 2009 was 21.1 million tonnes, a decrease of 7 per cent on 2008, which was a record year.
Foreign trade in vehicles is the freight category that has fallen most. In 2009, just over 157,000 vehicles were handled, which was a fall of 42 per cent on the year before. During the first half of the year the figure was 58 per cent and so even in the vehicle segment there was a slight recovery during the latter half of the year.
"As over one-quarter of Sweden's foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg we can see changes in the economy at an early stage and naturally we have been affected by the setbacks in the automotive industry. It is heartening for everyone that things are looking a little brighter," stated Magnus Kårestedt.
The rail shuttle system, built up by the Port of Gothenburg together with rail operators and shipping lines, has proved to be successful even in times of recession. This mode of transport has been strong and rail volumes in 2009 totalled close to 366,500 TEUs, which is a seven per cent increase on the previous year. The proportion of the port's total freight volumes attributable to rail transport continues to increase. Approximately half of all containers to and from the port are now moved by rail. This is a positive trend, not least for the environment.
For further information, please contact Eva Jonasson, Media Relations Officer, Port of Gothenburg, tel. +46 31 731 22 45.