A challenging year amidst international crises

The Port of Turku started the year 2022 with great expectations, and the expectations were partly realised. As the pandemic was fading, the passenger numbers began to rise at the beginning of the year and finally reached the pre-pandemic level.

Annual report

Cargo transports also started at the rate of the previous year, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the decrease in cargo capacity on our Swedish route cut down the cargo volume transported through the Port. The goals were nevertheless reached regarding the finances of the port enterprise by adapting and enhancing the operations, the goal of which is to prepare for the challenges of the current year 2023. The global political situation remains unstable, which makes the outlook for the future uncertain.

Passenger traffic recovered, and cargo transports shrank

The positive development of passenger traffic was strengthened by the new vessel Viking Glory introduced on the route between Turku and Stockholm. The popularity achieved by Viking Glory, which started regular service at the beginning of March 2022, is indicated by the fact that during the first year, it carried over one million passengers. That way it helps to compensate for the decrease in departures on the route, as Tallink Silja leased out its ship Galaxy from September 2022 on for temporary accommodation in the Netherlands. The effects of the leasing of Galaxy were greater on the Port’s cargo transports because it removed a large share of the capacity of unit cargo transports to Scandinavia which is important to the Port. On the whole, the volume of cargo transports was also affected by the consequences of the war in Ukraine for international trade.

Ferry Terminal Turku proceeds towards concrete implementation

The global political and economic conditions with the energy crisis are also reflected in the Port of Turku. Despite that, the Port’s key development projects were actively forwarded in 2022. The architectural competition for the Ferry Terminal Turku project was resolved in May, and the winner was a proposal called Origami designed by PES-Architects. The planning of the new passenger terminal continued in co-operation with the winning team and the future users with the goal of improving cost-efficiency, use of space and functionality, taking into account the increase in building costs and the changes in ship traffic. In the first phase of the project, the construction work of the berths will start in the autumn of 2023. The entire Ferry Terminal Turku project including the new terminal will be completed at the turn of the year 2026–2027.

Looking steadily towards the growth potential

The Port of Turku has the capacity to respond immediately to significant growth of transport volumes. The Port’s cargo transport services would be enough to receive up to three times the current number of vessels, and there is also room in the passenger harbour for vessels operating new connections. According to a market study conducted by the University of Turku, e.g. ship traffic between Turku and Gdynia, Poland is of interest to both cargo customers and tourists. Negotiations are continuously held on opening new connections with several shipping companies, and the goal is to make decisions in the near future despite the global conditions.

Thanks to everyone for their stamina

The past year eventually turned out to be different from what we anticipated. As the horizon seemed to be clearing, the world jumped from one crisis to another, which challenged both the Port’s organisation and our partners to respond to the changed situation. By acting together we managed to avoid the worst pitfalls, for which I wish to extend my warm thanks to the Port’s personnel, all port operators, and the decision-makers of the City of Turku. Together we will be stronger also in 2023.

Read the full annual report 2022 (pdf).

Photo: Markku Koivumäki