The Port of Gdansk expects to handle more than 48million tonnes of cargo in 2020, retaining its position as one of Europe’s fastest growing ports despite the disruption to global trade caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The Port of Gdansk said it handled 36.2million tonnes in the first three quarters of the year to September and is on course to handle the same amount of cargo it did in 2018 and just under 52.2million tonnes it managed in 2019. The performance means the Port of Gdansk has broken into the top 20 biggest ports in Europe for the first time ahead of Genoa and Dunkirk.
President of Port of Gdansk Lukasz Greinke said in a statement that the strong tonnage levels are testament to the port’s agile set-up and infrastructure which enables it to transport cargo of all types adapting to changing market conditions. He pointed to imports of ore which have soared by 6344 per cent to September and grain volumes which have spiked by 174pc while other bulk cargos are up by nearly a quarter. He said these three cargo types have picked up the slack of reduced demand for fuel and coal across its hinterland and foreland of 120 million people.
“We recognise what a challenging time this has been for all our customers and we have done all we can to keep Poland and our hinterland supplied through-out the coronavirus crisis including with vital medical equipment (see notes to editors 1),” he said.
“I must thank all our team and our partners who have worked tirelessly to ensure we have not lost a single day of downtime. We are pleased to see the port maintaining a robust performance which is testament to the investments made to transform the Port of Gdansk into a truly universal port. The spike in ore imports has been dramatic from around 5000 tonnes in 2019 to 330,000 tonnes this year – the highest for 20 years. In terms of fuel we were anticipating a drop in demand with fuel shipments which were inflated in 2019 by the ‘chloride crisis’. This resulted in more fuel being transported by sea after Russian oil imports into Poland were suspended after chloride was found in the pipeline. However, demand for fuel and coal was then even harder hit because of covid. Nevertheless, we are now seeing fuel and coal volumes pick up in quarter four,” he added.