The Port of Gothenburg has maintained high volumes across most cargo segments, despite the ongoing economic slowdown both globally and domestically.
This is evident from the Port of Gothenburg’s cargo volume report for the first half of 2023.
Claes Sundmark, Vice President Sales and Marketing at the Gothenburg Port Authority, said: “This outcome can primarily be attributed to the Swedish export industry, which continues to deliver. Generally, we observed a significant dip in imports during the first quarter, which is a logical consequence of reduced Swedish purchasing power and increased caution.
“However, import volumes have gradually stabilised during spring and summer. As we look ahead towards Autumn, we see further recovery on the import side and continued pressure on exports.”
The Port of Gothenburg handles more than half of Sweden’s container transportation, with the majority passing via APM Terminals’ container terminal.
Despite the recent half-year economic slump with higher interest rates and inflation, the number of containers handled at the port has climbed.
During the first half of 2023, approximately 446,000 TEU were handled at the port, indicating a 3 per cent increase over the same time the previous year.
“It is certainly gratifying for us to see the port’s volumes increasing despite uncertain times. However, since the Port of Gothenburg is gaining market share from other ports, our increased volumes do not necessarily reflect the current economic conditions, even though it is normally a good indicator,” added Sundmark.
Rail transports around 60 per cent of the containers shipped to and from the port’s inland destinations, a proportion achieved by few other large international ports.
However, maintenance work on Sweden’s railway infrastructure during the first half of the year, as well as restricted options for additional trains, have had a detrimental influence on traffic.
These factors, along with lower import levels, resulted in a 9 per cent decline in the first half of 2023. This compares to the same period in 2022, which was a record year for rail-borne containers at Gothenburg’s port.
The number of vehicles handled at the Port of Gothenburg increased by 12 per cent in the first half of the year. Imports and exports are both rising, and the port is still by far Sweden’s largest vehicle port.
During the previous six months, Intra-European Ro-Ro volumes declined by 6 per cent. The major source of the decrease is lower import amounts, according to Port of Gothenburg.
The handling of traditional dry bulk vessels has also increased. A total of 199,000 tonnes of dry bulk cargo were handled, a 5 per cent increase over the first half of 2022. The primary driver of this rise is the export of forest products and building materials.