Port of Kiel maintains high handling levels
by Ulf Jahnke
Cargo turnover again tops 3.5 million tons
Kiel, August 2nd, 2018: In the first six months of the year more than 3.5 million tons of cargo were handled in the port of Kiel and just about a million passengers were carried. Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the PORT OF KIEL (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said: “We may not have been able to match the absolute record of 2017, but we have nonetheless managed to achieve an acceptable half-year result. Compared with the extra-ordinary growth of 20% in the first half of last year, this year’s handling has continued to maintain a high level." In the first half of 2018 a total of 3,544,275 tons of cargo were handled, which corresponds to a drop of 3.65%. In passenger trade however 964,604 travellers left or boarded a ferry or cruise ship – which meant an increase in this sector of 5.55%.
The main reason for the drop in cargo was the particularly long yard stay of one of the ferries of the Stena Line, which had a modern waste gas cleaning system – a so-called scrubber - installed in February and March. Dirk Claus said: “We welcome this investment in environment protection – even though the ship’s six week yard visit, rather than the originally planned two weeks, led to a significant cargo decline at the Schwedenkai Terminal.” Growth rates on the Oslo route could only make up for part of the loss. Trade with the Baltic region and Russia in the first half of the year totalled a good 1.2 million tons and was at just about the same level as in the same period of last year. Ships on the Kiel-Klaipeda route were almost full to capacity and volumes in trade with Russia showed stabilisation. The St Petersburg service benefitted from an additional port warehouse being taken into operation.
In the bulk cargo handling sector, developments in Kiel were mixed. The handling of fuels like oil and coal showed an overall small decline while that of building materials like gravel and agricultural products such as grain grew slightly. “Coal handling in the Ostuferhafen is being wound down gradually as a result of the impending decommissioning of the local power plant”, said Dirk Claus. “At the same time however, handling of bulk cargo in the Nordhafen is increasing”, he added. Kiel expects a new impetus to growth in ferry business from the additional Color Line cargo ferry being introduced into service from January 1st next year. Intermodal rail/ship shipments will also continue to profit from this development. In the first half of this year a little over 15,000 consignments, most of them trailers and containers, have already been loaded onto the railways.
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