A consistent trend for at least a decade has been the presence of three Russian ports on the Baltic podium (Port of Ust Luga, Port of St Petersburg and Port of Primorsk). January 2021 saw the first change in the balance of power in the Baltic. The Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. moved up to third place with 4.6 million t of cargo handled, an increase of 8.8% compared to January 2020.
The bulk ports of Ust Luga and Primorsk, as well as the main cargo gateway to Northern Russia, the Port of St. Petersburg, have always dominated the Baltic Sea in terms of cargo handling. All three contribute significantly to Russia’s balance of foreign trade. Together they handled 241.5 million t of cargo in 2020, a 5.8% y/y decline. Even at the end of 2020 the difference between Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. and Port of Primorsk was 1.3 million t in cargo. The beginning of the year, however, brought a new deal. The podium is headed by the Port of Ust Luga at 9.4 million t (+3.6%), followed by the Port of St. Petersburg at 4.7 million t (-0.8%). In January 2021, the Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. recorded 4.6 million t in cargo handled, overtaking the Port of Primorsk, which dropped to fourth place in the ranking at 4.4 million t (-26.3%). The Port of Klaipeda remains in fifth place, at 3.8 million t (+10.8).
“The rise of the Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. to third place not only proves the great flexibility of our port and, consequently, of our operators, but it also shows its universal character in the context of other ports in the Baltic Sea region. The global pandemic has affected the entire maritime industry. It has also been an important test for Polish ports, one which we managed to pass,” commented Adam Klos, Commercial Director of Port of Gdansk Authority S.A.
The Port of Gdansk Authority’s share in handling Polish maritime cargo exchange remains high, and in 2020 reached 46.2%, the highest of all Polish ports. The global pandemic did not prevent the Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. from maintaining its high position in the rankings. It was the fastest growing of all European ports during the period of prosperity, and then experienced some of the smaller declines when the pandemic hit all ports.
“It is definitely a good start to the year for the Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. The credit for this goes to the hard work of our operators. We are thoroughly impressed with their dedication. Our goal is to continually strengthen our position in the Baltic Sea. Thanks to our investments and clear directions, our contractors see an increase in their cargo handling capacity, while the Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. grows in strength. We are already a port without limits. This is due to: a deep-ater fairway, thanks to which the External Port can accommodate the largest vessels with draughts of up to 15 m; the absence of tides, giving a constant water depth; and the lack of ice, which enables year-round operation. In addition, we are nearing completion of our key investments on both land and water. Real improvements in terms of infrastructure in the Inner Harbour will be visible from the middle of this year, when all the quays will be upgraded and the fairway deepened to 12 m. Operators will be able to use the new infrastructure, which will constitute yet another opportunity for them to increase their handling capacity,” claimed Lukasz Greinke, CEO of the Port of Gdansk Authority S.A.