Germany’s Port of Kiel recorded 2.2M cruise and ropax passengers (+ 4.2%) and again over 7 Mt of cargo handled, although that was down 3.5% on 2017’s peak
In 2017 the port’s cargo throughput increased by 14.3% to 7.4 Mt. It was not able to match this in 2018 and throughput declined by 3.5 % to 7.15 Mt.
Dr Dirk Claus, the Managing Director of Seehafen GmbH & Co. KG said: “After two years of very strong growth, the result in the freight sector of the port of Kiel is somewhat weaker this time. However, in economic terms, this is compensated by the growing passenger traffic.”
In order to further improve the port’s infrastructure, investment activities have accelerated once again. A very strong focus lies on the protection of the environment, marked by cold ironing, initially at the Color Line berth.
Ropax and ro-ro freighter traffic sector is the core business of the port and with 6 Mt makes up 80 % of the overall cargo activities. While the liner services to Norway (+2.3 %) and to the Baltic States (+1.6 %) showed growth, 10% less cargo was transported on the Kiel-Gothenburg route, due partly to the long layover STENA SCANDINAVICA while a scrubber system was fitted.
The weekly liner service to and from Russia remained nearly at the same level due to continuing mutual restrictions on trade.
Again the biggest single volume was handled on the Kiel-Klaipeda service operated by DFDS and, in addition, forest product handling business has firmly established itself. Since the inauguration of the SCA Terminal in autumn 2016, well over 1.5 Mt of paper products of the Swedish groups of SCA and Iggesund have been handled.
In the past year, nearly 29,000 trailers and containers were loaded onto wagons in Kiel. However, as the train connection to Trieste was suspended, the planned milestone of 30,000 units could though not be reached. Dirk Claus added: “Through the integration of the Norwegenkai into the Hamburg (Billwerder) rail schedule, the intermodal volumes will grow again this year. We are working on further direct train links together with our partners.”
In order to enhance the competitiveness of rail two infrastructure expansion projects are underway - the shunting station will be upgraded and a third track will be built at Schwedenkai.