Over the past six years, transshipments at the Port of Gdansk have increased by 83 per cent, reaching the absolute best ever figure of 68.2 million tonnes in 2022. Compared to last year, this is an increase of more than 28 per cent. Undoubtedly, transshipments of energy raw materials are behind the spectacular record.
On 23 January, the Ministry of Infrastructure hosted a results conference summarising the past year in Polish seaports. It was attended by Deputy Minister Marek Gróbarczyk, Grzegorz Witkowski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure and the managements of the three largest Polish ports: Gdañsk, the Szczecin-¦winouj¶cie port complex and Gdynia.
– It was a fantastic year in Polish seaports. The 2021 transshipment record was spectacularly beaten. The transshipment results clearly show the good shape the three largest Polish ports are in. In total, they handled 133 million tonnes of goods. This is 18 per cent more than a year earlier. The embargo on Russian goods has shown how important seaports are, how important a role they play in the security of the country. I am convinced that the successes of our ports have been influenced by the investments made in recent years, which have contributed to the development of the sector and increased handling capacity. I would like to thank the management and operators of the ports and all employees for their hard work. I hope that the current year will bring even more positive news for the Polish maritime economy,” said Deputy Infrastructure Minister Marek Gróbarczyk.
In turn, Grzegorz Witkowski, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure, added that Polish ports have passed the exam 100 per cent.
– On 24 February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, we knew that Polish ports would play a significant role. And they did. They realised their economic potential. Together with the port operators, they rose to the challenge. However, behind every ship handled, behind every container, there are people. We will need human resources. We currently have 7,000 students at maritime universities. These are future officers, captains, logisticians, mechanics,’ he said at the conference.
Łukasz Greinke, CEO of the Port of Gdańsk, admitted that 2022 was marked by many challenges.
– We faced serious challenges resulting from the economic consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the closure of Poland’s eastern border to supplies of raw materials, primarily coal. Sea ports, including Gdansk, had to take over the volume of this commodity, which until then had been imported via the land border. We have succeeded in meeting this challenge. Thanks to investments made by the port in recent years, such as modernised quays, storage yards, today we can sleep soundly and not worry about the temperatures in our homes.
A total of 68.2 million tonnes of goods were handled in the Port of Gdansk in 2022, a 28 per cent increase on the previous year. This is absolutely the best result in the history of the Port of Gdansk. The two cargo groups that generated the largest increases were, of course, crude oil and coal. Coal transshipments reached 13.2 million tonnes (a 175 per cent increase on 2021), of which around 12.5 million tonnes were imported. Liquid fuels, on the other hand, grew by as much as 35 per cent and overtook general cargo to become the dominant cargo group at the Port of Gdansk. In total, fuel transshipments amounted to 25 million tonnes.
– We are a dynamically developing port. In European rankings we aspire to be a leader. There is no port that has experienced such growth in the last decade. We are steadily strengthening our position on the Baltic – we are already ranked 2nd in total transhipment. We are only overtaken by the port of Ust Luga, which is the main raw material window when it comes to Russian oil. But I believe that the embargo introduced will change this situation as well. The sanctions on Russia will be felt when transshipments at this Russian port drop by 40 to 50 per cent, – explains CEO Greinke.
The Port of Gdansk’s handling performance has been influenced by investments, especially in the Inner Port, where about 5 km of universal quays have been modernised, which serve current handling and directly translate into the ability to handle additional volumes of goods.
– The example of the Inner Port shows just how gigantic an effect investments in port infrastructure and suprastructure have. Last year, 15 million tonnes of goods passed through its quays, whereas until recently it was 9 million tonnes,” adds CEO Greinke.
In the last six years, the value of investments carried out by the Port of Gdansk Authority and external entities (contractors, the Maritime Office, PKP PLK) exceeded PLN 4.8 billion. Further ventures amounting to more than PLN 4.2 billion are planned and underway.