Sweden’s Port of Gothenburg reported an increase in its container volumes, reported no cancelled calls and said none are planned despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Ports throughout Europe have been hit hard by the pandemic and are feeling the knock-on effect of cancelled calls.
Figures published by port authorities reveal that container volumes at the 10 largest ports in Europe fell by an average of 5% in Q1 2020 compared to 2019.
By contrast, the Port of Gothenburg said it has increased its container volumes by 8% in Q1 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. In March, container volumes touched 10% briefly which authorities said was “one of the highest monthly figures in recent years.”
However there was a fall in imports from China, which was compensated for, in part, by a rise in imports of the empty containers needed to avert a shortage for the country’s export companies.
Port of Gothenburg chief executive Elvir Dzanic attributed the figures to Sweden’s much talked about “open approach” in contrast to major lockdowns worldwide. Swedish industry has continued to export during the pandemic. Mr Dzanic said “We offer a wide range of services, a highly efficient rail infrastructure and the capacity to remain sustainable even in more testing times. Freight flows from all over the country are being concentrated increasingly on Gothenburg as companies reassess their logistics concepts."
The port said no direct calls have been cancelled and services to and from Asia have continued, “week in, week out”.
APM Terminals Gothenburg chief executive Dennis Olesen said the weekly services between Gothenburg and Asia have been 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-borne and move through Gothenburg, which is reassuring as it brings continuity to Swedish trade with the world.” said Mr Olesen.
Mr Dzanic remains optimistic about the port in general and for container traffic in particular.
“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 the fairway, enhancing transhipment potential, and expanding the port’s rail concept, which is already one of the most successful in the world.”
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