PORT OF KIEL draws positive annual balance despite decline in volume
17 Jan 2023 12:45 Economy
Kiel seaport draws a positive balance for 2022 with 7.7 million tonnes of cargo volume and 2.2 million passengers. Due to updated tare weights, the handling result is slightly behind the record result of 2021 (see table). A strong cruise season and good developments on the Scandinavian routes compensate for double-digit volume declines in the direction of the Baltic States. The seaport of Kiel counted over 2.2 million passengers (1.4 million ferry traffic / 836,000 cruise sector) last year, finishing only slightly behind the record figures of 2019 (2.3 million). SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG is reporting a positive overall business development for 2022.
The Gothenburg connection remains at a similarly high freight level as in the previous year (overall freight result 2.3 million tonnes / according to the former empty weight calculation: 2.1 million tonnes). On the Oslo connection, double-digit volume growth was recorded this year (total freight result 817,000 tonnes /+27.24 %). As part of the EU sanction measures against Russia, the import of Siberian larch at the Ostuferhafen was stopped as of 10th July 2022, playing a minor role with a share of less than one percent of the total turnover of Kiel’s seaport (2021). On the routes to the Baltic States (total cargo 2.6 million tonnes (according to the former empty weight calculation: 2.3 million tonnes), low double-digit volume declines were recorded, which are also responsible for the adjusted volume decline of 5.6 % in total turnover in the port as a whole. With 3.4 million tonnes (according to the former empty weight calculation: 3.1 million tonnes), the Ostuferhafen also continues to be one of the strongest areas in Kiel's cargo handling business. There have been positive developments in the passenger sector: with 2,241,919 ferry and cruise passengers, sea tourism has more than doubled compared to the previous year (921,796). Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG, makes it clear: "The broad positioning of the company has led us relatively well through challenging times in the past years and is also compensating for declines in certain areas this year. In this context, I would also like to thank our 360 employees who have done a great job in 2022. Even though the coming year will certainly be challenging once again, we are optimistic about the future."
The development of intermodal transport in 2022 was also characterised by the declines at the Ostuferhafen. Despite stable volume development at Schwedenkai and Norwegenkai, the overall balance in the intermodal sector remained below expectations. With 28,900 loading units (2022), the result does not correspond to the company's actual long-term planning - the target was 35,000 loading units for 2023. In addition, many trains had to be suspended last year or suffered considerable delays, among other things due to network problems. Nevertheless, there is cautious optimism about the development of CT in the coming years, said Claus, because customer demand for environmentally friendly logistics products is increasing.
Development in maritime tourism remains strong in 2023
With 244 calls, the past 2022 season was the seaport's strongest cruise season to date, with an increase of 37 per cent on the last pre-Corona season in 2019 (178 calls). The positive development in the cruise sector had already been apparent for several years, during which the northern German seaport was involved in intensive planning with international shipping companies. The loss of St. Petersburg as a cruise destination did not play a role in the growth of Kiel’s cruise business (+9 calls due to rerouting/-11 calls due to cancellation). So far, 218 calls have been registered for the current 2023 season. Dirk Claus: "We are settling at a good level of between 200 and 250 calls in the cruise sector. Our focus this season will again be primarily on integrating the cruise ships with our shore power system. We expect to supply 60 to 100 calls."
Ambitious environmental strategy
PORT OF KIEL is one of the leading European seaports for the supply of shore-side electricity to passenger ships. For example, the ferries of Color Line and Stena Line have been using shore power in Kiel for the entire year 2022, despite volatile energy prices. In addition to the two existing plants, another plant is currently being built by Siemens AG to supply power to cruise ships and ferries at Ostuferhafen. The completion of the 17 million euro project is scheduled for the end of the 2023 season. This would give PORT OF KIEL one of the most extensive infrastructures for shore power in Europe and enable it to offer green power at all cruise and ferry terminals from 2024. In line with the port's environmental strategy, which envisages climate neutrality by 2030, PORT OF KIEL will invest an additional € 2 million in the construction of photovoltaic systems in 2023. The plants, which are planned for the roofs of the company's buildings, are to cover up to 30 per cent of the group's electricity needs in the long term. "We see this not only as the answer to current energy issues, but also as an important step towards the continuous reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030," says Claus.
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