The Port of Gdańsk ranks 5th in the European Union with 51% increase in transshipment -
The Port of Gdańsk ranks 5th in the European Union with 51% increase in transshipment
Date of publication: 29.12.2023

2023 is the second year of the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia. This situation completely changed existing supply chains and required remodeling of economies, including the economy of Poland. Seaports played a key role here, especially the largest Polish port in Gdańsk. They ensured the supply of goods from new directions.

– As you can see, we can make full use of access to the sea. The maritime element in Poland is growing rapidly and still has great development potential. I hope that in the next few years, in accordance with the strategic direction, the port of Gdańsk will take first place in the Baltic Sea, exceed the barrier of 100 million tons of transshipment and will be able to compete on an equal basis with ports from the very top in Europe – explains Łukasz Malinowski, president of the Port of Gdańsk.

Super League

At the beginning of December, the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) compared transshipment in European ports. It turns out that the Port of Gdańsk recorded the greatest increases. In 2022, it transshipped by 40% more cargo than in 2021. It thus overtook, among others, Bremerhaven, Marseille and Barcelona, and after the first quarter of this year ranks 5th in the European Union with 51% increase in transshipments. Rotterdam, Antwerp-Bruges and Hamburg are still among the largest ports in Europe. However, in the first quarter of this year these ports recorded declines.

– Gdańsk has been the fastest growing port in Europe for a decade. However, the last two years have not only seen record transshipments, as we are used to, but also due to the geopolitical situation, there has been a huge jump. Last year alone, transshipment increased by 15 million tons, and this year by another 13 million tons. The scale of transhipment growth in the last two years corresponds to the transshipment of the entire port of Gdynia. This year's result will be around 81-82 million tons, which puts the port of Gdańsk in 5th-6th place in the European Union – adds Malinowski.

This was influenced by the increased transshipment of energy raw materials, coal, crude oil and fuels. Data for 11 months of this year shows that coal transshipment at the Port of Gdansk reached 12.8 million tons, so coal will be in profit on an annual basis compared to 2022. However, the largest increase was recorded by liquid fuels. Transshipment increased from 23 million tons to 34.4 million.

– We must take into account that for a dozen or so years some sectors of the economy will be based on hydrocarbons. Until nuclear power plants are built that provide a stable basis and we fully develop wind energy at sea and on land, we are forced to import oil and coal – explains Adam Kłos, operational representative of the Port of Gdansk.

In the maritime economy, you need to react quickly to the constantly changing environment and plan in parallel, as in the case of investments, for decades. This philosophy and management style allowed the Port of Gdansk to flexibly adapt processes and infrastructure to challenges and respond to socio-economic needs. The war in Ukraine is not the only black swan we had to face. Before that, there were two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that caused unprecedented perturbations in the chains of global economic flows.

– In 2024, we will see further increases in transshipment, which we plan to reach 87 million tonnes. It's the European Super League! To make our plans realistic, both in the short and medium term, we continue planned investments in infrastructure, digitalization and human capital – adds Łukasz Malinowski.

Strategy for years

The Port of Gdańsk is in the process of developing a new strategy that will address the current and probable challenges it faces. It assumes a long-term perspective, 30 years ahead.

Recent years have been a real revolution when it comes to infrastructure investments. The value of projects completed and currently implemented by the Port of Gdansk Authority, operators operating in the port, the Maritime Office and PKP PLK is approximately PLN 6-7 billion. Importantly, the PGA was able to capitalize them. Investments are calculated and implemented to meet the needs of current and future contractors. One of such projects has just come to an end. The expansion of the Industrial Quay area, which is part of the long-term investment strategy of the Port of Gdańsk, will significantly improve communication, streamline transshipment, and will also allow for the commercialization of new investment areas.

And soon, at the beginning of January, the construction of bottom reinforcement along the Industrial Quay in the Inner Port and the replacement of its fender line will begin. Thanks to this investment, amounting to nearly PLN 28 million, the technical depth at the quay will be increased to 10 m, which will significantly increase the transhipment capabilities of operators. In addition, strengthening the bottom will improve the safety of the quay structure, and replacing the fender line in the section III-1 and III-2 will enable servicing larger units. The works will be carried out in stages on sections with a total length of 802 m.

The contract with the contractor, i.e. a consortium of companies led by Erbud SA, was signed at the beginning of December this year. In two years, the quay will be put into operation.

But this is not the end of investments in the Inner Port. The implementation of the project to reconstruct four further quays with a total length of nearly 2 km, including the necessary underground infrastructure, begins. Additionally, the road and rail system in the hinterland of the Wiślane Quay will be rebuilt.

In turn, the expansion of Naftoport is planned in the Outer Port. Design work is underway for the construction of the sixth oil reloading station. Moreover, GAZ-SYSTEM is preparing to locate a floating FSRU in the Bay of Gdańsk, in the waters within the administrative boundaries of the port. This is a strategic investment from the point of view of national security. It will contribute to the diversification of sources of natural gas supplies to Poland. The expansion of the Baltic Hub container terminal is well advanced. The first sections of the T3 quay are scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2025. Thanks to this investment, the company will be able to handle up to 4.5 million TEUs annually.

Most recent