Ville Niinistö took helm of the Board

Member of Parliament Ville Niinistö started as the Chairman of the Board of the Port of Turku at the beginning of summer. Interviewed during the July heatwave, Mr Niinistö said that he was happy to take on the position. According to him, now is a most interesting time to be involved in the development of the port operations.

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”The Port of Turku is not just any port, but an important part of the internationally significant maritime cluster of Southwest Finland. Together with shipping companies and logistics providers it produces and offers a wide variety of advanced services for both cargo and passenger transports. As a modern and efficiently managed harbour the Port of Turku has excellent opportunities to be a pioneer also on the way towards intelligent ports”, Ville Niinistö assures.

Great potential for growing transports

The Chairman of the Board sees a lot of growth potential in both the Port’s passenger and cargo transports.

”The traffic between Turku and Stockholm operated by Viking Line and Tallink Silja is of primary importance to the Port. Only few routes offer as high-quality and efficient scheduled traffic for both passengers and trucks. Alongside regular traffic I see a possibility for seasonal cruises to new destinations as well, such as e.g. Visby and Tallinn. Combining an archipelago experience with a cruise to Tallinn might be an attractive alternative to the route from Helsinki”, Ville Niinistö envisions.

The Port of Turku has prerequisites to be the Finnish and European leader in many services.

Co-operation with Stockholm is key

Using his good connections in Sweden, Ville Niinistö wants to strengthen the already active co-operation with the Port of Stockholm.

”The co-operation between Turku and Stockholm offers a natural route and great potential for both tourism and cargo transports. Commerce and tourism between and through the Scandinavian countries are growing. The reforms in the Ports of Stockholm emphasise its position among the cargo ports of the Baltic Sea, which is also positively reflected in Turku. Together with Stockholm, Turku can also offer attractive packages to the cruise companies operating in the Baltic Sea, to whose passengers the archipelago vistas offer unique experiences.”

Fairer pilotage charges

Mr Niinistö sees the current pilotage charges as a factor that hinders the development of traffic in the Port of Turku and hopes that an essential change be implemented in their structure.

”In my opinion, state administration should reconsider the pilotage charges. Today, it would be justifiable to collect most of the sum as fixed charges and lower the charges based on the length of the piloted distance. Developing the seafaring in the ports of Turku and Naantali benefits the whole country, and there’s no reason to hinder it with unfair pilotage charges.”

Environmental responsibility is also a competitive advantage

As the former Minister of the Environment Ville Niinistö reminds that in global logistics, vessel traffic has the smallest carbon footprint.

”The sea has always been important to the residents of Turku, and that’s why they also demand their port to act in an environmentally responsible manner. The Port of Turku is a pioneer in environmental responsibility and will continue to be so in the future. Together with different players we will respond to the environmental challenges while looking after the successful business operations of the Port. The requirement for environmentally sustainable operations affects the markets and provides a strong competitive advantage for the Port of Turku.”

Ville Niinistö is a Master of Social Sciences born in 1976. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2007 and worked as the Minister of the Environment from 2011–2014. The father of two children likes to trek in nature and loves the Turku Archipelago in particular.

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