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Europe making headway but global trade flows weakening

Press release -

Europe making headway but global trade flows weakening

During 2013, ro-ro traffic through the Port of Gothenburg rose for the first time in three years. On the other hand, the number of containers shipped through the port fell by five per cent. A new set of figures for freight volumes for 2013 has just been released.

Around 30 per cent of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg, the largest port in the Nordic Region. For the last couple of years, the trend for European flows has been in decline although global trade figures have remained more stable.

During 2013 the trend was reversed. Ro-ro traffic, which accounts for a large proportion of freight movements in Europe, increased for the first time since 2010. In total, 557,000 ro-ro units were shipped, up four per cent on 2012.

"We have spoken for a long time about the trend in European trade bottoming out. We can now see the first indications for a long time that Swedish industry is increasing its trade with other countries in Europe, which is extremely pleasing," says Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive.

Fewer containers
Unfortunately, container movements at the Port of Gothenburg do not reveal the same positive trend as ro-ro traffic. 858,000 TEU were shipped last year – down 5 per cent on 2012.

"This is the first time since 2009 that global trade flows through the port have fallen. We are hoping to see a recovery in 2014," says Magnus Kårestedt.

Major increase in car exports during the second half of the year
163,000 new passenger cars passed through the Port of Gothenburg last year. During the first half of the year, volumes fell by 18 per cent but a strong 24 per cent recovery during the autumn meant that volumes for the year remained unchanged compared to 2012.

1.7 million people chose the sea route to Gothenburg
Passenger traffic was up 1 per cent during 2013, the year-end figure standing at 1.7 million. Stena Line accounts for the largest proportion of traffic by far with its daily services to Fredrikshavn and Kiel. The number of cruise vessels has risen substantially in recent years although 2013 was something of an off-year with just 39 visits compared to 69 in 2012.

"Happily, bookings for 2014 and 2015 are looking very good. This year we will set a new cruise record with 70 visits and 120,000 passengers," says Magnus Kårestedt. 

Reduced crude oil imports
Gothenburg also has the largest Energy Port in the Nordic Region. Half of Sweden's crude oil imports pass through the port. Products include petrol, diesel, asphalt and a range of other products. In total, 20.4 million tonnes of energy products were handled during 2013, a fall of eight per cent compared with the previous year. The decrease can be attributed largely to the fall in crude oil imports. Petrol volumes increased during the year.

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

The enclosed Word version of this press release contains a table showing the trend for each type
of freight.



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 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.


Stefan Strömberg

Stefan Strömberg

Press contact Press Officer +46 (0)31 368 77 15

Scandinavia's largest port

The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in Scandinavia. Around 30% of Swedish domestic and foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg and over 50% of all container traffic. The port is a full-service port, and offers industry guaranteed, climate-smart access to the whole world. Direct services to key markets ensure highly efficient, sustainable, and reliable transport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The focus is firmly on sustainability, innovation, and digitalisation in a concerted effort to maintain the ongoing development of climate-efficient freight transport and calls by vessels. With over 30 rail shuttles offering daily departures, companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct, climate-neutral service to the Port of Gothenburg. The port handles energy products, vehicles, ro-ro units, containers and passengers. 22,000 people are employed at the port.

Port of Gothenburg
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