Liner service to Gdynia for a fast connection to Europe

The Port of Turku has the space and service capacity for significant increase in vessel traffic. Based on that, the Port is actively mapping opportunities to open new shipping lines in the Baltic Sea region.

Traffic and logistics

At present, the discussions have proceeded farthest with the Polish Port of Gdynia with which the Port of Turku signed a letter of intent on co-operation already in October 2019. The goal is to start regular cargo and passenger ship service between Turku and Gdynia.

”Both ports want the co-operation to proceed quickly, but unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic slowed down the plans. For the past 18 months we have had talks mainly through remote connections, but this autumn we will have closer negotiations. The first meeting will take place in connection with the opening of the new ship terminal in Gdynia, and after that we can hopefully approach practical questions. Our common goal is to start liner traffic in 2023 at the latest”, says Erik Söderholm, Managing Director of Port of Turku.

A new gateway to Europe for Turku

Located on the north coast of Poland, Gdynia is one of the three biggest ports in the country. In recent years, the port has invested considerably in the development of its infrastructure and land connections, and the expansion of the new terminal is planned within the next few years. Along with the development, the Port of Gdynia wants to strengthen its position in the transports between northern and southern Europe, for which a ship line to Turku would provide better opportunities than at present.

”For Turku, the new direct regular liner ship connection to Poland would mean a new fast route to continental Europe that would support the business life of the whole of western Finland. In addition to Poland, with strong economic growth, the connection would act as a gateway to the markets of central and Southern Europe, in terms of both exports and imports. Based on our discussions, there is interest on the market in a new line that would provide a cost-efficient option for truck transports through Via Baltica. After a sea voyage of just 24 hours the trucks can get on the road in Turku at best in 10 minutes, which means considerable time savings for transports when time matters”, Managing Director Erik Söderholm reminds.

CEO Erik Söderholm and chief operating officer Antti Pekanheimo are confident that partnership of Turku and Gdynia connects two modern and cost-efficient ports to serve cargo transports across the Baltic Sea.
Ready for starting cargo transports

The Port of Turku has full readiness for starting cargo transports right away. Berths require just a “push of a button”, and professional port operator services are flexibly available. As a nimble service provider, the Port of Turku reacts quickly to the different needs and wishes of its customers. The decision-making is quick, open and confidential.

Berths and vessel traffic services in the Port of Turku are ready to accommodate new shipping company partners immediately if the need arises.

”Both ports are strongly committed to co-operation, so at present the number one priority is to find the right shipping company for a partner. We have had discussions with, for example, Polish and Norwegian shipping companies in accordance with certain conditions, but we are ready to talk with any shipping company that is interested. The primary goal is to start ro-ro transports, which determines the vessel type. The vessel should have at least 2,000 lane metres for trucks and trailers, and ice class in accordance with the Nordic regulations. We aim at two departures per week, which responds well to the needs for the business life”, says Antti Pekanheimo, Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Turku.

Interesting route also for passenger traffic

In addition to cargo transports, the new route would allow for passenger traffic between Turku and Gdynia, possibly with ro-pax vessels. The Tri-City consisting of Gdynia, Gdansk and Sopot with around one million inhabitants is an interesting location for cruise passengers and as the first stop of a car holiday.

Liner traffic between Turku and Gdynia provides shipping companies with an opportunity for competitive business as European goods flows are looking for new routes.

Gdynia also offers good connections for those interested in the increasing rail traffic. For example, Warsaw can be reached conveniently by train in around three hours.


Text: Kari Ahonen
Photos: Markku Koivumäki