Historic record at Polish seaports. For the first time their transhipments exceeded 100 million tonnes - MarinePoland.com
Historic record at Polish seaports. For the first time their transhipments exceeded 100 million tonnes
Date of publication: 03.04.2019

Last year's transhipment in Polish seaports exceeded barrier of 100 million tons and amounted to 101.19 million tons. This level was achieved for the first time in history - said Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterway Transport, Marek Gróbarczyk. on Wednesday. 87 million tons of cargo were handled in Polish ports in 2017.

- This is a huge historic success that shows the dynamic development of Polish seaports. We make efforts to keep up the pace of rapid transshipment, which is why we are implementing a wide investment program that is to improve these results even more - Gróbarczyk said.

The historic barrier of 100 million tonnes of transshipments in Polish ports was exceeded, thanks to the three largest seaports in Poland. Each of them broke also their annual record of cargo handling. They also invested billions PLN into investments. That was truly incredible year for Polish maritime industry.

Closer to the podium of the largest Baltic ports

In 2018 the Port of Gdansk transshipped almost half of the goods that were transported through all Polish ports. Thanks to this it is getting closer and closer to the podium of the largest Baltic ports.

The Port of Gdansk Authority ended 2018 with a historic record: 40.6 million tons of goods were transshipped - previously no Polish port had exceeded this barrier. In 2018 Gdańsk broke its own record: more than 49 million tons passed through Gdańsk quays and terminals. An increase of 20.7 per cent is the highest growth dynamics on the Polish coast.

- Last year, our contractors transshipped 9 million tonnes of goods more than in 2017. They did so not only using the old infrastructure, but also during the ongoing construction work on the whole Port territory. It's a huge amount of complicated work, so congratulations are due first of all to our operators - says Lukasz Greinke, the President of the Port of Gdansk Authority. The final result of transshipments in the Port of Gdańsk is almost 17 percent higher than planned.

The Port recorded particularly high growth in coal. 7.2 million tonnes of coal were transshipped, 41 percent more than last year. The result for general cargo increased by more than 18 percent - 21.5 million tonnes.

- As for containers alone, almost 20 million tons were transshipped in the Port of Gdansk, which corresponds to annual growth of 21%. Last year, we transshipped approximately 87 thousand new commercial vehicles, 13 percent more than in 2017. Not only transshipments have been growing, but also the number of merchant ships entering the Port. In 2018 we had 357 more arrivals than a year before - explains Adam Klos, Sales Director at the Port of Gdansk Authority.

The Port of Gdansk recorded further increase in transshipments in fuels area. Last year, 18% more of them were transshipped - 15.5 million tonnes. The bulk cargo group closed the year with the result of 3.9 million tonnes, which means that it was almost 14% better than in 2017.

As a result of such high dynamics and the amount of transshipped goods, the Port of Gdansk finally moved from 6th to 4th position on the list of the largest ports in the Baltic Sea, ahead of Klaipeda port.

Billions worth of investments

23,492 million tonnes of handled cargo – with that historic record Port Gdynia have closed previous year. This means a 10% increase compared to 2017. And that's not the end. The Port of Gdynia Authority (PGA) announced major investments in the coming years, thanks to which the results of the Gdynia port will be even better in the future. This includes construction of a public ferry terminal and deepening of the port basin.

- We managed to achieve another transshipment record, we managed to earn good amount of money, so I consider previous year at the port of Gdynia very successful. We handled a lot of bulk goods, while we achieved record at wood transshipment- an increase of over 400% compared to previous years. I am also happy with the container handling - says Adam Meller, president of The Port of Gdynia Authority

General cargo was the main cargo group handled at the Port of Gdynia, it was responsible for a 59% share in the total turnover structure. Last year, in this cargo group, 1.36 million tons of goods were transshipped, which is mainly related to the number of containers handled. The increase was also recorded in the transshipment of general cargo handled by ro-ro vessels.

The second place in transshipment belong to grain – 2,944 million tonnes, the third place belonged to coal and coke. The increase in transshipments in this group is related to significantly better coal imports. The share of this cargo group in the port turnover structure in 2018 was about 11%. The transshipment of other bulk cargoes has also increased by over 20%. The aforementioned coal has reached the result of 979 thousand tonnes. In other cargo groups, there were slight decreases in cargo handling compared to 2017.

Among the key investments at the Port of Gdynia, there is construction of a public ferry terminal, the Outer Port and the Logistic Valley. Adam Meller also stressed that there are very good chances for the construction of the Red Road. This investment is necessary for the development of the Port of Gdynia and it will have a length of about 7 km. The design of its construction is divided into two stages. The first covers about 3.5 km from the Gdynia Północ junction in the area of Pucka Street to the Baltic Container Terminal. The second one is to be an extension of this section for another 3.5 km to the Karlskrona roundabout in the vicinity of which a new ferry terminal is planned. The Red Road will be connected to the two-lane Via Maris road, which will start at the end of the Gdynia-Chylonia beltway and run to the border with Rumia.

Meller added, that the Port of Gdynia will also enter ship bunkering market. First bunkering, in cooperation with PGNiG, will be performed next month. Ultimately, LNG terminal with a gas power plant will be built at the end of the Outer Port. The project also includes construction of a barge designed for bunkering LNG to other vessels.

Port of Gdynia also achieved very good financial results. Profit from the basis of operations increased in 2018 compared to the year of creation by  2.6 million PLN (7.8%), thanks to growing basic obligations on port fees (12.5%) and, to a lesser extent, from the increase in rental sources (1.7%). Due to the current situation on the global financial market and investment expenditures,  
result of financial activity fell to 28%. The decrease was also similar to other operating activities (down 19%). As a result, the Port Gdynia net profit for 2018 was 10.8% lower than year before and it  amounted to 67 mln PLN.

More coal at Szczecin-Świnoujście Port Complex

The Szczecin-Świnoujście Port Complex noted unprecedented cargo handing volumes in 2018. Cargo handled in the two ports that year exceeded 28.6 m tons. This translates into an increase of 12.5% comparing to 2017.

Coal is in the forefront with a double digit increase (+61%). It is followed by ore (+30%) and fuel (+18%). Results in those cargo groups were possible due to an excellent economic growth in the country. Rapid economic growth triggered higher demand for energy resources and raw materials for the production of steel.   

Last year, other bulk had very good results (+10%) due to increased handling of fertilizers, aggregate, methanol and sulfuric acid. Further growth was noted by break bulk (+4.4%), including break bulk transported by ferries (+3%).

Unfortunately, grain handling was still poor (-25.1%), and a big surprise was the double digit in container handling (-13%).

In total, the two ports handled 3,190.6 thou. tons more, i.e. from 25,423.6 thou. t in 2017 to 28,614.2 thou. t in 2018. This translates into an increase by 12.5%. An interesting fact is that already in the middle of November 2018, the ports reached the level of the whole year 2017 (25.4 m tons).

- Results attained by our ports was the effect of the synergy between actions taken by the Ports Authority, on the one hand, focusing on the development of port infrastructure and creating possibly the best conditions for business in the ports, and the operation of port-based companies, on the other. Moreover, the Polish economy was rapidly growing as reflected by imposing port cargo handling statistics. The results are motivating for us to continue promoting further growth in the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście – says Dariusz Słaboszewski, CEO at Szczecin-Świnoujście Seaports Authority.

The Ports Authority expects the upswing trend to continue in 2019 to reach cargo handling about 30 m tons at the year end. We should remember, however, that the situation on the market fluctuates and certain factors may remain beyond the control of the Port Authority and handling companies, which this may have its impact on cargo volumes.

At the moment, Szczecin and Świnoujście are two ports of the universal port complex where general cargo accounts for 47%, solid bulk 39%, and liquid bulk 14%. It is worth adding that the Świnoujście ferry terminal is the leader in ferry services in the South Baltic Sea Region. Services to Swedish ports of Trelleborg and Ystad are provided by 11-13 ferries. (Monika Woźniak-Lewandowska)

According to statistics, the previous largest ever cargo handling in the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście was in 1979. That year, the ports handled 26,697 thou. tons.