pomorski park naukowo- technologiczny gdynia
Aleja Zwycięstwa 96/98
Coronavirus claimed 4% of the turnover of maritime container terminals. This is the first downturn in this respect since 2015. That time however, it was much more significant as it amounted to 13%. As then, can we expect a bounce-back next year and a return to a pre-pandemic turnover? Terminals’ representatives are convinced of this. In total, Polish terminals handled 2.918 million TEUs in 2020, which, despite a drop compared to 2019, was the second best result in the past decade.
The global economic problems resulting from the declaration of a coronavirus pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March last year affected Deepwater Container Terminal Gdańsk to the largest extent. The annual drop in turnover of Poland’s largest container terminal reached 7.5%. This meant a reduction in cargo handling by 155,000 TEUs, from over 2 million TEUs to 1.9 million TEUs. This has been affected firstly by a sharp decline in production in China, from where the largest container ships arrive at DCT, and then by the lower demand in Europe for products from China, as a result of the closure of retail trade.
Compared to Gdańsk, the pandemic affected the terminals in Gdynia far less severely. At the Baltic Container Terminal, cargo handling in 2020 fell by 2% compared to the previous year, and amounted to 502,000 TEUs in contrast to 512,000 TEUs in 2019, which is the second best result in the terminal’s history. Last year, BCT focused on launching new links to the terminal. In July last year, a rail service operated by PKP Cargo Connect on the Warsaw-Gdynia-Warsaw route was launched, in September last year Containerships introduced the BALT V service, as part of which container ships sail from Gdynia to the London port of Tilbury, and in October we saw the arrival at the terminal of the first train of the rail carrier Freightliner PL, which established a new connection between the Brzeski Container Terminal (60 km east of Kraków) and the ports of the Tricity.
In the challenging pandemic conditions, the second Gdynia terminal - Gdynia Container Terminal - closed 2020 with a record turnover. This increased by almost 5% compared to 2019 and amounted to 401,500 TEUs, in contrast to 383,000 TEUs the year before. This is the terminal’s best result in its history. At GCT, the upgrading of the Bulgarian quay is underway. It is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of this year. The deepening of the basin at the quay to 15.5m will allow the terminal to receive the largest vessels that can call at the Port of Gdynia - with a length of up to 367m and a draught of 13m. GCT has also expanded its network of connections. Last June, X-Press Feeders added a terminal to its weekly GPX service, which links ports on the route: Hamburg - Gdynia - Gdańsk - Hamburg. The service is operated by the X-Press vessel Mulhacen, with a capacity of 809 TEU.
The DB Port Szczecin terminal, on the other hand, closed 2020 with a result of almost 87,000 TEUs, which is 11,000 TEUs better than 2019 and only marginally lower than the 2015 record, when it managed to marginally exceed 87,000 TEUs.
The coronavirus pandemic also caused a slight decline in DCT’s share of the cargo handling volumes at the Polish ports. It stood at 68% in 2019 and last year at 66%. Gains of 1 percentage point each were recorded at GCT - 14% and at DB Port Szczecin - 3%. BCT’s share remained unchanged at 17%. Of course, this is also reflected in the share of individual ports in servicing of container transport. Gdańsk lost 2 percentage points - 66%, whereas Gdynia gained them - 31%. The Port of Szczecin accounted for 3% of container handling in Polish ports in 2020, as it did the year before.
Article developed with Namiary na Morze i Handel magazine.
phot. Namiary na Morze i Handel