Helsinki calls for logistics stimulus to fight COVID-19 fallout

Industrial port with containers in winter, vessel loading in port of Finland

The Port of Helsinki has said cargo traffic through Vuosaari Harbour, its main container terminal, has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite stringent measures being put in place.

In a statement, the Port said the pandemic had emphasised how important container shipping and logistics is to Finland’s economy.

The country relies on the industry for half its GDP, which is comprised largely by companies which export.

Additionally, the Port of Helsinki accounts for 45% of the country’s foreign trade, which makes it critically important for the supply of food and supplies.

While cargo has so far remained unhindered, passenger traffic has slowed down due to actions taken by the Finnish government.

What does a national lockdown mean for ports?

The pandemic has caused many countries in Europe to limit the movement of people, although cargo has yet to be halted due to the critical purpose ports serve in day-to-day business operations.

In order to prevent severe economic slowdown, the Port has called upon the government to initiate a stimulus package that will lead to recovery once cross-border restrictions are lifted.

“In the maritime sector, removing fairway dues would help shipping companies bridge the loss in income caused by the crisis, for example,” it said.

“Building routes to ports and supporting the ports’ own investments would guarantee smoother connections to the world and a more vibrant country.” 

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