Port of Gothenburg in Sweden, the largest port in Scandinavia, has had its worst year ever for container volumes, handling 644,000 TEU during 2017, a fall of 19% on last year.
In newly published freight figures for 2017, the Port of Gothenburg reported that total freight volume came in at just over 40 million tonnes, buoyed up by good – and in some cases record-breaking – performances in other sectors.
The port said that the long-running labour dispute between the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union and the terminal operator APM Terminals Gothenburg had caused its greatest repercussions in 2017.
More than 70% of Swedish international trade distribution takes place by sea.
Despite low container volumes, overall volumes at the Port of Gothenburg stayed on a par with 2016 due to the port’s record number of shipped cars, coupled with solid figures at its ro-ro terminals.
Learn about why an industry platform that covers all aspects of container logistics needs to integrate all the steps involved in shipping, storage and redirection in 'The Changing Face of Container Logistics', a technical paper by Michael Bouari, CEO, 1-Stop Connections
Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a downturn that we have never been close to at any point in the history of the port, and it took place in a year when container trade globally had increased. It is difficult to put into words the seriousness of the situation.
“We had hoped for a recovery towards the end of the year in the absence of any industrial action since last summer. But this was not the case. The message from the freight owners is loud and clear – the constant threat of industrial action hanging over the container terminal means they will not be returning without a long-term solution that will ensure reliable freight handling over time.”