Cargo transports again yielded a good result

The Port of Turku offers a fast and smooth shortcut for cargo transports to the most important Baltic Sea ports and a convenient connection to ocean lines with destinations further afield. The Port’s strength is regular and frequent liner service which allows for flexibility to the transport schedules and improves the supply performance. The main routes of liner traffic head across the Baltic Sea to Scandinavia and Central Europe. There are four daily departures to Stockholm, and one ship leaves for Denmark and Norway once a week. Ships to Germany operate weekly, and regular liner traffic also reaches England, the Netherlands and the ocean ports of the North Sea.

Annual report

In 2021, cargo transports through the Port of Turku remained at the favourable level reached in 2020. A total of just over 2.4 million tonnes of cargo was transport through the Port, which was divided almost half and half between exports and imports. Unit cargo comprised of around 125,000 trucks and trailers which was still at a good level, despite a small dip. As in the previous year, the positive result was improved by the decision of Tallink Silja and Viking Line to concentrate their Scandinavian traffic to the Port of Turku, and the support from the National Emergency Supply Agency to the operating of key ports.

The outlook for cargo transports in the Port of Turku for the current year 2022 is positive. The Finnish economy has come through the pandemic relatively well, and the value of goods exports increased by nearly 19.8 per cent in 2021. Exports and imports are expected to continue to grow, which will be directly reflected in the volume of sea transports for trade and industry.

Growth potential for the Port of Turku’s cargo transports also stem from the increasing capacity of our Scandinavian route. M/s Viking Glory started operations at the beginning of March and considerably increases the number of lane metres on our route between Turku and Stockholm compared to its predecessor m/s Amorella. The capacity increases by around 60 per cent, which means that the lane metres on Viking Line’s morning departure are up from 900 metres to 1,500 metres. The growth of capacity together with other advantages offered to cargo transports by the Port of Turku are expected to redirect unit cargo from other ports to Turku.

Along with the development of Finland’s foreign trade, the Port of Turku also expects to see growth in ro-ro and project shipments. Finnlines, Mann Lines and Baltic Line Finland offer good connections as well as strong special expertise in reliable and safe operating of the most demanding maritime transports. Alongside the shipping companies the Port of Turku has strengthened its competitive edge through continuous development of its services and functions, and provides excellent resources for the logistics services of both export industries and imports.

As a significant element in the development of the services, the reorganisation of the Port’s crane operations was completed during 2021. The Port’s crane services were transferred by a business acquisition to Turku Stevedoring Oy which offers reliable and flexible crane services to all operators and shipping companies based in the port. The decision has turned out to be successful, and the customers are happy with the quality of the service. At the same time, the sale of the crane services released the Port’s resources for the development of its core operations, which will benefit all customers and partners.

The reform of Silja Line’s outdoor field areas was also completed in 2021. The reform meets its goal as it facilitates and speeds up the embarkation and disembarkation of both heavy vehicles and passenger cars. The new arrangements in the field area also vacate space for the new Ferry Terminal Turku which will house the operations of Viking Line and Tallink Silja in one joint terminal as of 2026.

Over the next few years, the Port of Turku’s cargo transports are also expected to grow further as a result of new ship connections. Contacts with Poland in particular have continued actively throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The discussions are based on the letter of intent signed by the cities of Turku and Gdynia in 2019, the goal of which is to open regular cargo and passenger ship service between Turku and Gdynia. A new direct and regular liner connection from Turku to Poland would provide a fast connection deep into Continental Europe and would support the business life of the whole of Western Finland. In addition to opening a connection to Poland whose economy is growing steadily, the connection would act as a gateway to the markets of Central and Southern Europe in terms of both exports and imports.

Read the full annual report 2021 (pdf).

Text: Kari Ahonen
Photo: Jarmo Piironen