Despite coronavirus pandemic, the container volume at Port of Gothenburg has increased by 8% during the first quarter of 2020, compared with the similar period of the last year. At the same time, 10 largest ports in Europe has recorded an average of 5% decrease, disrupting freight flows.
In the container sector, the exports increased by 10% in March, one of the highest monthly figures in recent years, while the imports decreased as a result of a fall in imports from China. This has been compensated for in part by a rise in the import of empty containers needed to avert a shortage for the country’s export companies, the Gothenburg Port says.
The container volume reached 203,000 TEUs (a 8% increase) and rail container traffic recorded a 3% increase reaching 115,000.
At Port of Gothenburg, no direct calls for ocean-going vessels have been cancelled, the services to and from Asia using the world’s largest vessels being continued within this period.
“Weekly services between Gothenburg and Asia have proved to be the most important lifeline for Swedish imports and exports. Ensuring traffic continues without disruption is vital. And we also see more goods able to become rail born and move through Gothenburg, which is reassuring as it brings continuity to Swedish trade with the world,” said Dennis Olesen, chief executive of the container terminal operator APM Terminals Gothenburg.
The open approach of Sweden relating to this crisis and the fact that Swedish industry has continued to export during the coronavirus pandemic, are one of the important factors that contributed this increase for Port of Gothenburg.
“As we were among the first to react to the Covid-19 pandemic, with quick, decisive measures early on, we were able to assure access to this major freight hub, allowing us to stay focused on the road ahead. Together with the other companies at the port we are working ceaselessly to satisfy the needs of the market through a series of key initiatives, including deepening of the fairway, enhancing transshipment potential, and expanding the port’s rail concept, which is already one of the most successful in the world,” Elvir Dzanic chief executive of Gothenburg Port said.
Despite the difficulty of predicting the end of the coronavirus pandemic, the port would not face critical situation, continuing to focus on its services which will lead to the increase of its activities and traffic volume.
“We offer a wide range of services, a highly efficient rail infrastructure, and the capacity to remain sustainable even more testing times. Freight flows from all over the country are being concentrated increasingly on Gothenburg as companies reassess their logistics concepts,” Elvir Dzanic said.