Importance of Local Cargo Increases
Data on the total number of cargo at the Freeport of Ventspils in 2021 clearly show – the port is changing and the most importantly is to create a local cargo base. In the first 10 months of 2021, the terminals operating in the Freeport of Ventspils handled more than 9 million tons of cargo. The decline in demand for transit of the energy resources had an effect on the total cargo volume. At the same time in those cargo groups that are not directly dependent on the geopolitical conditions indicate a continued steady growth.
Cargoes of energy resources have an impact on the total number of tons.
There are noticeable trends towards decreasing cargo volume of energy resources due to geopolitical and economic reasons at Ventspils’s port. Looking ahead to the future, it is also important to take into account the initiative European Green Deal establishing the phasing out from fossil fuels to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. Looking now and to the future the demand for fossil fuel and handling volumes to be predicted to fall at all Europe ports.
Even More Local Cargoes
A different picture opens up to the port, if we look at cargo groups separately with or without minimal geopolitical influence. For more than 20 years Ventspils purposefully started developing the industrial park, in order to at least partially the port, if we may say so, would produce its own cargoes to be reloaded. Proximity to the port is certainly an additional argument in favour of the fact that any export capable company to choose Ventspils as a place of production. It is also clear from statistics that those cargo groups that are not directly dependent on the geopolitical conditions indicate a continued steady growth – Ro-Ro cargoes, timber products, agricultural products, liquid chemistry, metals, etc. In the first 10 months, the volume of these cargoes has increased by 10 %.
Own Niche and Adaptation to Market
The second half of the year also marked positive trends in the diversification of terminal operations – one of the most powerful terminals of the Freeport of Ventspils, “Kālija parks”, which was once built for handling mineral fertilizer cargoes, has made substantial investments to adapt the terminal infrastructure to the grain cargoes.
In September the ferry operator “Stena Line” announced ambitious development plans in the Freeport of Ventspils. Already in the third quarter of this year a larger cargo and passenger ferry “Stena Scandica” was deployed on Ventspils-Nynäshamn route increasing the ferry line capacity by about 30 %, enabling the volume of Ro-Ro cargoes to increase by 5.3 % in 10 months, but the number of passengers – by 30 %. However, in the next year “Stena Line” intends to replace existing ferries with even larger, completely new, 240 m long E-Flexer type ferries.
One of the Ventspils port’s special advantages is also suitable infrastructure and experience in bulk cargo handling. The restoration and reconstruction works of the access road in Plosta Street, commissioned by the Freeport of Ventspils Authority, are currently in the final phase. Part of this project is also the construction and arrangement of the access road for bulk cargoes opposite Ventspils State Gymnasium No. 1 in Brīvības Street. Total project costs – 162 thousand euro. The arrangement of this place was necessary for the delivery of especially large cargoes to the terminal. Current trends show that the volume of these cargoes in the port is significantly increasing.