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Port of Gothenburg handles over 240,000 TEUs in first quarter

Container volumes at the Port of Gothenburg continue to surge, surpassing last year’s record levels. The first quarter of 2024 witnessed a historic high in container handling for the Swedish port.

Combining both exports and imports, the container volumes at the port of Gothenburg surged by 8% to reach a total of 242,000 TEUs, marking a historic high for a single quarter in the port’s history. The Port of Gothenburg manages 57% of Sweden’s entire container volume, with terminal operator APM Terminals overseeing the majority of these volumes.

In 2023, robust export volumes propelled the Port of Gothenburg to its best year ever in container handling. Conversely, import volumes faced challenges, experiencing a nearly 20% decline for the entire year. Factors such as high interest rates and a weakened Swedish krona dampened domestic consumer demand, contributing to the low import figures.

However, the trend has turned. Import of container goods surged by 11% during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2023.

“Now we are back to import volumes at levels similar to those before the pandemic. And the signals we are receiving from the market indicate that major importers in sectors such as retail expect strengthened purchasing power and increased demand from Swedish consumers going forward,” stated Claes Sundmark, vice president of Sales & Marketing at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

Furthermore, in the first quarter of the year, the volume of container goods transported via rail rose by 1% to reach 126,000 TEUs. This growth encompasses forest products transported by rail and containerized in Gothenburg. Railway connections to destinations with significant import activity in the Swedish hinterland also exhibited robust growth.

“A lot is happening right now that will further strengthen our railway offering in the future. We have new railway destinations starting up, while several existing routes are increasing in frequency. The upgrade of the Port Line to double track has just been completed, tripling the capacity of the railway. With the Port Line and our recently started fairway deepening, we are developing the port with even more robust and efficient infrastructure, sharpening the competitiveness of Swedish industry further,” commented Claes Sundmark.

In addition, the handling of new vehicles experienced a 2% decline, amounting to 69,000 cars in the first three months of 2024. This decrease was primarily driven by a reduction in car imports to Sweden, mirroring the decline in new car registrations within the country during the period.

Similarly, the total intra-European ro-ro volume decreased by 2% during the first quarter. Ro-ro, short for roll-on/roll-off, refers to trailers and other rolling cargo transported on high-frequency shipping services. Similar to the port’s container volumes, there is some indication of recovery in import volumes within the ro-ro segment as well.

Port of Gothenburg cargo throughput, Q1 2024

Jan-Mar 2024Jan-Mar 2023Change %
Container242,000 TEUs225,000 TEUs8%
Rail126,000 TEUs124,000 TEUs1%
Ro/Ro units138,000141,000 -2%
New vehicles69,00070,000-2%
Cruise calls10
Energy products5.1 million tonnes4.6 million tonnes10%
Dry bulk 142,000 tonnes109,000 tonnes30%
Source: Container News
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