Lithuanian media
Lithuanian media

Record cargo volume means Klaipėda is outpacing other Baltic ports

April 12, 2016

Klaipėda Seaport in Lithuania has registered record cargo volume levels in the first quarter of 2016, despite the fact that cargo volume in many ports in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea is dropping significantly.

“We have seen record growth levels of cargo handling in March, up 15% in comparison with the same period last year,” explains Arvydas Vaitkus, director general of the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority. “This is almost 450,000 tonnes more cargo, and such a performance is indeed gratifying.” An 11% drop in bulk cargo handling has been offset by a 68% jump in liquid cargo, while general cargo handling is up 14%.

“Last year was a record year for the port of Klaipėda in terms of handling, but first quarter growth in 2016 was higher still than that in 2015”, Mr Vaitkus said.

This strong performance makes Klaipėda Seaport the Baltic State’s leader for cargo handling. “In January and February, cargo handling decreased by 10% in Riga Seaport compared with the same period last year, and in Tallinn the decrease was almost 15%,” explains Mr Vaitkus. “Meanwhile in Klaipėda, cargo handling increased by 7.8%, putting Klaipėda in the lead for the region. Furthermore, the volume of cargo handled in Klaipėda is only one million tonnes less than that handled in Saint Petersburg. Previously, the gap in volume between these two ports was considerably larger. However, the decrease in cargo handling indicators in Russian ports is not a positive message, because this affects the performance of other ports”, Mr Vaitkus warned.

Due to the record levels of cargo handling in Q1 2016, Klaipėda State Seaport Authority collected over €12.3 million of levies in this period, up almost 14% from the same period last year. The Seaport had been aiming for a growth rate of 6%, which would have brought in €11.5 million, but this target was exceeded by €780,000. During the same period last year, the amount of levies collected was €1.5 million less.

“This is the third year in a row that port revenues from levies have grown,” points out Martynas Armonaitis, the economics and finance director of Klaipėda State Seaport. “Not only do the results of this quarter exceed those of the same quarter in 2015, this is in fact the best quarterly result in the history of the port. So we have a new record” Mr Armonaitis announced proudly.

A major portion of the levies will be allocated to investments, with €24 million of investment planned this year.

“The port companies have worked really well during the first three months of this year, and we can be proud of these results,” stated Vaidotas Šileika, president of the Association of Lithuanian Stevedoring Companies. “This demonstrates the competitiveness of the port and the ability of the companies based here to adapt to the changing situation both in global trade and in geopolitical conditions. All our neighbours are feeling the effects of geopolitical events, but Lithuania does not have much cargo from Russia, so our results are good,” explained Mr Šileika.

Source: DELFI

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