The container terminals in the Polish ports closed last year with record-breaking transshipments and a return to growth. A total of just under 3.2 million TEUs were handled in Gdańsk, Gdynia and Szczecin. This result is 8% better than that of 2020, which is slightly below the average annual growth rate of the last 10 years, which stands at 11%. Such excellent results brought the Port of Gdańsk to the position of the leader in container handling on the Baltic Sea, with the output of nearly 2.12 million TEU and a growth of over 10%. The Port of Gdynia was ranked 3rd with a turnover of almost 986 thousand TEU and a growth of approximately 9%.
Polish terminals performed very well last year, despite the ongoing pandemics and congestion in many ports around the world causing delays to arrivals, despite the shortage of containers, the soaring cost of shipping and the downright symbolic for 2021 blocking of the Suez Canal by the container ship Ever Given. 3.2 million TEUs. This is the best result ever and a 4.6% improvement on the previous record set in 2019. This result confirms that Polish container terminals still have considerable growth potential, despite a 138% increase in turnover over the past 10 years. Since 2011, there have only been 2 occasions when transshipments in a given year were lower than in the previous year – namely in 2015 and 2020. Interestingly, each time the turnover declines followed a year in which total transshipments exceeded another full 1 million TEUs – in 2014 when 2 million TEUs were reached, and in 2019 after exceeding the 3 million TEU level. Will we see another drop in turnover after 4 million TEUs?
In comparison to 2020, the most dynamic growth in turnover was recorded by Gdynia’s Baltic Container Terminal with 14% (almost 573 thousand TEU), followed by OT Port Gdynia, with 11% (2.23 thousand TEU), and the Deepwater Container Terminal Gdańsk – with 9% (2.11 million TEU), which remains the leader in container handling in Poland and on the Baltic Sea. Gdynia Container Terminal also recorded a slight growth of 2% (with almost 411 thousand TEU). On the other hand, fewer transhipments were made at DB Port Szczecin, with a 6% fall (81.7 thousand TEU), and at the Szczecin quay of the Port of Gdańsk.
The rises and falls in turnover at individual terminals had little effect on their share of total transshipment. Obviously, DCT is responsible for the largest share of the transshipments with a 66% share of the total – the same as in 2020. One percentage point has been gained by BCT, which was responsible for 18% of container transhipments in the Polish ports last year. It achieved this at the expense of the neighbouring GCT, which accounted for 13% of the turnover. The share of DB PS has not changed and still remains at 3%. Gdańsk continues to handle 66% of the containers, while Gdynia handles 31% and Szczecin 3%.
As for the Baltic Sea container turnover, the 10 largest ports handled a total of 9.2 million TEU in 2021, 4.56% more than in 2020. Thanks to the excellent performance of Gdańsk and Gdynia, Poland became the leader in container transhipments on the Baltic Sea, overtaking the Russian ports. This is because St. Petersburg has recorded a fall in transshipments for the 3rd consecutive year. Last year it stood at 8%, with a result of just under 2.1 million TEUs. Kaliningrad, on the other hand, recorded the most spectacular year-on-year growth of 55%. This port closed 2021 with a result of nearly 437,200 TEU, thanks to the development of intermodal container rail links on the China-Europe line.
The top “10” of the largest container ports on the Baltic Sea also included the following:
Göteborg (828 thousand TEU, up by 6.7%), Aarhus (718 thousand TEU, up by 9.15%), Klaipeda (over 666.7 thousand TEU, up by 4.66%), HaminaKotka (593.55 thousand TEU, up by almost 4.5%), Helsinki (466.66 thousand TEU, down by over 8%) and Riga (415.6 thousand TEU, down by 8.36%).
Article developed with Namiary na Morze i Handel magazine
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