Despite turmoil in the world economy, container trade at the Port of Gothenburg was up four per cent during the third quarter. Rail transport and oil are increasing whilst ro-ro traffic and cars continue to fall.
Sweden is a shipping-dependent country – 90 per cent of all imports and exports are moved by sea and around one-third passes through the Port of Gothenburg.
"As we handle such a large proportion of Swedish foreign trade, we notice fluctuations in the economy very clearly at an early stage. It was somewhat unexpected that container trade held its own as well as it did during the third quarter bearing in mind the current state of the world economy," says Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive.
In total, 226,000 containers (TEU) were shipped during the third quarter, which is 4 per cent up on the corresponding period in 2011. Growth during the period January-September, however, was down slightly at two per cent. Common containerised export goods are paper, timber products, industrial components and steel whilst imports largely comprise everything that is consumed in Sweden.
Figures up at the Energy Port
Each year, 2,500 tankers call at the Port of Gothenburg, which is the port of entry for around half of Sweden's crude oil imports. During the third quarter, 6.1 million tonnes of oil, diesel, ethanol, asphalt and other products were handled – up 30 per cent compared to 2011 and a new quarterly record. The upturn can be attributed mainly to a rise in volumes at the refineries. One refined product that has shown a particularly marked increase is diesel.
Downturn in rolling cargo
For rolling cargo (ro-ro), such as road trailers, volumes fell by 4 per cent compared to the third quarter last year. Ro-ro vessels operate to and from countries within Europe and these services were hit by the downturn in economic growth in the region. In total, 127,000 ro-ro units were shipped during the period.
Of all the freight categories, cars fell the most. During the period, 30,000 cars were shipped via the Port of Gothenburg compared to 45,000 during the third quarter of 2011. The fall applies to the movement of cars within Europe and import and exports to other parts of the world. The downturn can be explained in part by a decrease in the export of Volvo cars.
Switch from road to rail
A very positive trend during the third quarter was that rail transport to and from the port increased by a very substantial 10 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year. Rail traffic to and from the Port of Gothenburg currently replaces around 700 truck movements each day.
"There are now 26 rail shuttles that offer daily departures. The latest shuttle began operating in September between Gothenburg and Stockholm-Årsta," says Magnus Kårestedt.
Click here to see volume trend for each segment
For further information, please contact Cecilia Carlsson, Corporate Communications Manager, Port of Gothenburg, phone +46 31 731 22 45.
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.