All time high container throughput in the Port of Gothenburg
2024-01-31 11:27

All time high container throughput in the Port of Gothenburg

The following advisory was published by Port of Gothenburg:

Despite geopolitical unrest and economic slowdown with inflation and rising interest rates, the volumes increased in most cargo segments in the Port of Gothenburg in 2023. The container segment stands out the most, with 2023 marking the best year in the port's 403-year history. This is according to the cargo volume summary for 2023 provided by the Gothenburg Port Authority.

In total, 914,000 containers (TEUs*) were handled in the Port of Gothenburg in 2023. This marks a growth of 3% compared to the previous year and 16,000 more containers than the port's previous all-time high in 2012. Currently, the Port of Gothenburg handles 57% of the container traffic in Sweden, with terminal operator APM Terminals managing the majority of the volumes.

The increase is explained by several factors. An important one is the continued strength of the Swedish basic industry, with the forestry industry at its core. Additionally, handling in the Port of Gothenburg has grown in relation to other ports, both in Sweden and internationally. Compared to other Swedish ports, Gothenburg has increased its market share from 53% to 57% in 2023**. During the same period, many of the largest European ports have lost 5–10% of their volumes.

Primarily, it is export products that are increasing, while the import industry faces challenges. The shopping frenzy during the pandemic has ended, and Swedes held onto their wallets tighter during the past year. However, a turning point was noticeable during the last quarter of the year. During the first three quarters of the year, the decline in imports was around 20%, while the decline in the fourth quarter remained around 10%.

"In total, it is a fantastic result and a strong testament to the Port of Gothenburg's role as the guarantor of Swedish industry's access to the world. It is gratifying that Swedish export industry continues to stand strong and that we are now seeing a brightening on the import side. The port's growing market share, both nationally and internationally, also indicates further strengthened confidence from shipping companies and cargo owners, which we are very proud and grateful for," says Claes Sundmark, Vice President Sales & Marketing at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

Containers by Rail Approximately 60% of the containers transported on land between the Port of Gothenburg and the Scandinavian hinterland go by rail. This is a figure that few other international major ports can match. However, decreased container imports combined with maintenance work on the country's railway infrastructure and issues with the Swedish Transport Administration's planning have led to a nine percent decline compared to the record level of 2022.

But a recovery was seen during the last quarter, linked to the aforementioned recovery of imported containers. In the end, 2023 became the second-best year ever for containers transported by rail to or from the Port of Gothenburg.

Roro Units Roro stands for roll on/roll off and refers to trailers and other rolling cargo transported on high-frequency ships, both within and outside of Europe. Intra-European roro traffic decreased by 4% in 2023, and similar to the container segment, import volumes decreased while exports remained at essentially the same level as in 2022. The decline is also smaller than in many other Swedish and European ports.

Source: Port of Gothenburg