In 2021, the terminals operating in the Freeport of Ventspils handled a total of more than 11.1 million tons of cargo. By flexible adaptation to the market conditions, the terminals have managed to increase the proportion of the local cargo in the total cargo volume of the port. A new record has been achieved in the group of goods transported by ferries.
2021 has shown several positive trends in the operation of the Ventspils port. An insignificant but steadfast increase could be observed during the whole year in the groups of goods which are not materially affected by geopolitical fluctuations (Ro-Ro; timber and agricultural products, etc.), increasing the volume of these goods by approximately 9% in comparison with 2020.
All sorts of cargo can be currently handled by 14 terminals of the Freeport of Ventspils. Moreover, the terminals can react to the changes in the market in a flexible manner, adapting to the wishes of customers. E.g., KÄlija parks, which was initially constructed for handling of mineral fertilisers, now can handle grain cargoes as well after significant investments in infrastructure.
More than 20% of the total cargo volume of the port was transported via the ferry line Ventspils - Nynneshamn. The historically largest amount of Ro-Ro cargo was reached in 2021, i.e. –f 2.3 million tonnes; and it is by 6% more than in 2020. By the beginning of the year, the ferry operator Stena Line and Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals (NNVT) operating at the Freeport of Ventspils signed a contract for 20 years, agreeing on a permanent ferry traffic from the Freeport of Ventspils. The ambitious development plans in Ventspils are symbolised this year by the commencement of the traffic by ferry Stena Scandica which is 222 metres long and holds a capacity which is increased by 30% in comparison with the previous ferries. Moreover, in September Stena Line informed of attraction of two completely new ferries to the Ventspils line as of 2022. These new ferries of E-Flexer type will be 240 metres long and will allow to increase the cargo capacity by 25%, and the capacity of passenger compartment by 33%. Such opportunities ensure great preconditions for placement of logistics centres and exporting companies in the industrial territory of the Freeport of Ventspils.
Within the period of the year, 1,310 cargo vessels have been serviced in the Freeport of Ventspils, of which 1,007 were dry cargo vessels and 303 were tankers. Port charges paid by vessels coming into the port of Ventspils are the main source of income for the Freeport of Ventspils Authority and has allowed for a successful continuation of infrastructure projects of the port and the industrial territory: construction of access roads and industrial parks, as well as renovation of the port and waterworks.
The ice-free Ventspils port is one of the leading EU deep-water ports by the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Historically it serves as a strategic hub for transit of goods exported from Russia and CIS countries in terms of shipping chemicals, potassium salt, coals, grain, general cargo, Ro-Ro, and other cargo. Today, Ventspils is a multi-modal port in Latvia for all types of cargo and offers attractive port charges. Technical parameters of ice-free port lets us serve the largest vessels entering the Baltic Sea all year round.