The 3.3% increase on 2017 finally broke the previous record dating from 2008
Of the total cargo traffic, 7.3 Mt was in import (-0.1%), and 7.4 Mt in export (+7.0%). The first quarter of the year was a period of heavy growth, after which the growth slowed down.
2018 was the first full year of pulp export from Metsä Group’s Äänekoski plant via Vuosaari Harbour, which also contributed to the record.
Cargo traffic in trucks and trailers towards Tallinn increased 5.5% to 4.2 Mt. In the summer, Rostock traffic was relocated away from Helsinki, and cargo traffic to Germany decreased by 7.1% from the previous year.
Unitised cargo was up 1% in tonnage terms to 12.7 Mt. In unit terms, lo-lo container traffic increased 4% to 510,000 TEU, while trailers, trucks, rolltrailers and other rolling load numbers were up 3% to 590,000 units.
During the year the Port of Helsinki adopted a new facility management system called Granlund Manager, which automates and streamlines maintenance of harbour infrastructure and supports optimisation and reporting of energy use, among other things.
An area of just over 3-ha between Nurminen Logistics and Gustav Paulig in logistics area S in Vuosaari Harbour was returned to the control of the Port of Helsinki in the summer and was transformed into space for unitised cargo, starting with EC storage.
At the end of the year, port operator M Rauanheimo began the construction of a new terminal at Vuosaari. The terminal, with 4,210 m2 of floor space, was opened last month. It is located next to M Rauanheimo’s first terminal and will mainly handle packaged timber exports.
Vessels are becoming larger and, for example, Finnlines’ Breeze class ro-ro ships, which have been lengthened by 30m, started calling Vuosaari in mid-2018. At the end of the year, the port constructed an additional 30m of crane rail beams at berth D in Vuosaari Harbour. They will be used by the new crane ordered from Konecranes by Multi-Link Terminals. Slated for delivery this spring, the new crane will ease the handling of larger vessels.
The port also applied for a permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency (RSAA) to extend quays’ GP1 and GP2 dolphin structures by 57.5m and 45m respectively. The permit is expected to be received this year.
The port was granted a 5-year extension period for permit decrees for the construction of the AP quay, during which the quay can be lengthened by a maximum of 40m. It is planned to complete the work during 2019.
Vuosaari Harbour and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency applied together for a permit from the RSAA to dredge the fairway from 11m to 13m. The water permit was granted in June 2017, but an appeal was made to the Administrative Court of Vaasa. A decision is expected soon. The deepening project was granted a total of €6.7M of EU support.