Despite the downturn in the world economy, strong export trade, particularly to other continents, helped lift freight volumes at the Port of Gothenburg in 2012.
This can be seen in a presentation of port volumes for the year presented today.
With total freight of 42 million tonnes, Port of Gothenburg volumes increased by one per cent during 2012.
"We handle a great deal of Swedish foreign trade and although we noted a slowdown last year it was far from the dramatic events of 2009," says Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive.
Three distinct patterns Three distinct trade patterns emerged at the Port of Gothenburg during 2012: a rise in trade with other continents coupled with a fall in European trade; an increase in exports and a decrease in imports; growth in freight volumes from the Swedish east coast passing through the Port of Gothenburg.
Magnus Kårestedt explains: "A fall in demand in Europe has forced industry to find new markets farther afield. In 2012, we saw a substantial increase in volumes on our deep sea services to other continents while many of the short sea services in Europe have lost volumes."
Container exports via the Port of Gothenburg, largely paper, wood, steel, vehicles and industrial components, rose during the year by three per cent while imports fell by five per cent.
Two new deep sea services to Asia, in combination with three new rail shuttles, including one to Sundsvall, have led to more companies on the east coast choosing to run their freight through the Port of Gothenburg.
According to Magnus Kårestedt, the chance for companies throughout the country to transport freight for just five to eight hours by rail shuttle straight to the quayside is an attractive proposition. From there they can reach 140 destinations directly without transshipment.
The number of containers transported by rail to and from the port rose by 10 per cent during 2012 – a new record.
Containers up, ro-ro and cars down 900,000 TEU were handled at the Port of Gothenburg in 2012, one per cent up on 2011 and a new all-time high. Ro-ro traffic (trailers and other rolling goods) fell by four per cent during 2012, closing the year at 534,000 units.
The most significant decrease during 2012 was the number of vehicles shipped – down 31 per cent. This can be attributed largely to the fall in car production at the Volvo Torslanda plant.
Full speed ahead at the Energy Port Gothenburg has the largest energy port in the Nordic region. Half of Sweden's crude oil imports pass through the port. Ethanol, diesel, asphalt and a range of other products are also produced. In total, 22.2 million tonnes of energy products were handled in 2012, up 9 per cent on the previous year. The upturn is mainly due to higher volumes at the refineries. One product that has shown a marked increase is diesel – up 35 per cent.