Due to the increased handling of grain, the Port of Gdynia Authority, in consultation with the terminals and companies dealing with the testing of agro products in the port, decided to make part of the new maneuvering and storage yard available for handling trucks with this cargo.
The port of Gdynia is one of the most important ports in the transshipment of grain on the Baltic Sea and the most important for this kind of cargo on the Polish coast. The increased demand for grain exports in connection with the transit of crops from Ukraine meant that the four terminals handling these goods in Gdynia - HES, OT Port Gdynia, Speed and Mondry - have recently had their hands full. At the same time, the vast majority of grain arrives in Gdynia by trucks. According to the regulations, each subsequent delivery must be tested. Samples are collected using special carafes, i.e. car samplers. Only after obtaining the test results and determining the class of grain, the cargo is distributed to ships and storages. All this means that recently trucks do not fit in terminal car parks and more than usual they block, among others, Polska and Janka Wiśniewskiego Streets leading to the port.
The Port of Gdynia Authority has decided to address this problem and at the same time improve grain exports. In the coming weeks, the grain truck traffic will be systematically shifted to another location. The Port of Gdynia has made available a part of the recently commissioned maneuvering and storage yard at Logistyczna Street for the needs of terminals and control companies. Although it was built for containerized cargo, since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, it has already become useful for other purposes.
– This is the third such big challenge caused by the war crisis that we have across the eastern border. At the beginning, the yard helped us to handle the record amount of military equipment of our allies, which was reloaded here. Subsequently, all ports dealt with the issue of coal imports. Now, the next challenge, i.e. the export of grain on an unprecedented scale, which we are already experiencing and we expect will continue to grow – says Dominik Sychowski, Deputy Director for Real Estate and Contracts at the Port of Gdynia Authority. – The entire square is 8.5 ha. We allocate 4.2 of it for grain. We assume that after the first days of operation, we will be able to learn lessons on how to organize and improve car traffic. The additional parking and maneuvering space in addition to the one already used by the terminals should help to streamline these processes, relieve traffic on Janka Wiśniewskiego and Polska streets – explains Sychowski.
Work is underway on the proper organization of space and logistics in the yard so that as many loads as possible can be handled as efficiently as possible. Ultimately, there will be sampling points for four companies operating in the port area, i.e. Hamilton, Polcargo, SGS and Peterson, as well as bulk terminals HES, OT Port Gdynia, Mondry and Speed. During a working meeting on Friday 21 April, representatives of all stakeholders discussed the organization of the space provided and what else would be needed to fully relocate the sampling points to the new site. However, it is already de facto available to operators.
– We are already putting the yard at the disposal of terminals and inspection companies and we hope that the launch of this process will be possible as soon as possible – says Dominik Sychowski.
As agreed during the working meeting, terminals and control companies will move to the new square gradually so as not to cause chaos. The first to one on the new square will be HES Gdynia Bulk Terminal, which planned to move the basic infrastructure during the weekend.
– We are de facto prepared to start sampling here from Monday. We need to move the container and the sample collecting machine from our parking lot at Chrzanowskiego Street to a new square, and that's basically enough. Internet, electricity and we can work. From Monday, a new reality in our terminal – says Piotr Kolano, land logistics manager, HES Gdynia Bulk Terminal.
Piotr Kolano adds that making the new square available for terminals and inspection companies solves a very big problem faced by HES Gdynia Bulk Terminal – the recently insufficient capacity of the terminal car park for trucks.
– As the person responsible for the logistics of the largest operator in the eastern part of the port, I can say that I can count this day as one of the happiest in my career. This decision of the port authority, for which we are very grateful, solves our huge problem, i.e. the issue of the capacity of our car park at Chrzanowskiego Street. It is too small, has too little capacity, which caused the problems we know – the traffic jam at Polska Street.
As Piotr Kolano describes, in the HES Gdynia Bulk Terminal alone, i.e. one of the four terminals handling grain transshipments in Gdynia, over 300 trucks with grain are handled daily. It is a whole process – the truck must appear in the right place for notification and sampling, then the driver must wait for the results, and after obtaining them, the load must be distributed in the appropriate part of the terminal or warehouse.
– That's a lot of trucks. In addition, we handle other goods, such as coal and aggregates. All this took place in one car park in Chrzanowskiego, which has a capacity of 120 trucks – sums up Kolano.
In 2022, the Port of Gdynia handled 4.7 million tons of grain, of which wheat, corn and soybean were the largest. However, the Port of Gdynia Authority expects that these numbers will be even higher this year. Aleksander Wicka, head of the Marketing Department of the Port of Gdynia Authority, informed the Polish Press Agency a few days ago that the grain transshipment terminals in Gdynia record a 158% increase in exports this year compared to the same period last year.