Port of Gothenburg
28 April 2020

Port of Gothenburg - trade volumes remain solid

The Port of Gothenburg reports that Q1 freight volumes remain high despite the ongoing corona situation. Cruise and ferry passenger numbers and the ro-ro segment, however, weakened.

“We have focused firmly on keeping the port open and we have managed to do so successfully. This has always been our strategy. Large parts of Sweden have remained open and productive during the pandemic, and coronavirus has not had any tangible impact on Q1 volumes,” said Elvir Dzanic, CEO at the Port of Gothenburg, in a press release.

The Port of Gothenburg is by far the region’s largest port and it provides a good indication of Sweden’s international trade. While trade volumes remained solid during the first quarter, a slowdown is expected during the second quarter due to the global economic situation.  

“The Port of Gothenburg is a robust freight hub and together with our partners we are standing strong, with an unchanged offer and ability to deliver. This is the kind of security and reassurance that Swedish companies need, and we can see a clear tendency for more volumes to be routed through the Port of Gothenburg,” said Elvir Dzanic.

During the first quarter, container volumes on the export side grew by 8 per cent year-on-year. On the import side, a fall in imports from China was observed, although this was compensated for in part by a rise in the import of empty containers needed to avert a shortage for the country’s export companies.

The ro-ro segment has seen a decline from the high levels experienced in recent years. This trend continued into the first quarter with volumes down 6 per cent. 

Freight volumes of new vehicles also weakened by 1 per cent, although a further decrease is expected during Q2. Volvo Cars and the Volvo Group, which the Port said are its two largest customers, both halted production in late-March. In addition, new car sales of all makes are expected to weaken.

During the quarter, cruise and ferry passenger numbers totalled 231,000, which was 14 per cent less than in the same period last year.  

“It’s unfortunate to see how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on passenger numbers so significantly. We can also see that the freight sector will be hit during the second quarter although it is still too early to forecast the extent,” said Elvir Dzanic.

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