Port of Kiel Posts Record Cargo and Passenger Handling
Ferry Services Show Above-Average Growth
In the ferry sector, the Port of Kiel’s main business, services to Scandinavia and the Baltic region showed above-average growth in 2016. The lines serving Oslo, Gothenburg and Klaipeda made up three quarters of the total port handling and carried a good five million tons.
A total of more than 200,000 trucks, trailers and containers moved through Kiel last year on RoRo services to and from Scandinavia, the Baltic region and Russia, 5.5 % more than in the previous year. To these can be added 226,000 cars and import or export vehicles as well as busses, up 0.9 %. Overall well over 426,000 individual consignments were handled, a rise of 3 %. “Kiel is a main junction for ferry services to Scandinavia and the Baltic region”, says Dirk Claus. “And the expansion of the A7 and A21 motorways will make the port’s location even more attractive in future.”
SCA Forest Products Center Opens in the Ostuferhafen
The new SCA forest products and logistics center was officially opened in the Ostuferhafen on November 11th. The Swedish concerns SCA and Iggesund handled, stored and distributed an initial 300,000 tons of high-grade paper products there last year. This year that will rise to about 800,000 tons. Dirk Claus comments: “The paper products project adds a further mainstay to the Port of Kiel structure. The settlement of SCA means that one of the most important trading commodities in the Baltic region has now come back to the Kiel Fiord”.
SCA cargo vessels arrive in the Ostuferhafen every Monday and Saturday from Sundsvall (Sweden) and offload up to 160 cassettes of paper products. They range from cellulose through newsprint to kraft liners and cartonnage products for high-quality packaging - all destined for the German and European markets. In addition overseas containers are packed for shipment out of Hamburg to the Far East.
Hinterland Rail Services Grow by 4%
Rail/ship intermodal transport volumes continued to grow in the year just ended. For the first time, more than 29.000 trailers and containers were loaded onto rail waggons at the rail terminals on Kiel’s Schwedenkai and in the Ostuferhafen - a rise of 4 %. The biggest increase was posted by the service to and from Verona, which operates five times a week in both directions. A further departure is being added in early February. “Seaport hinterland transport by rail is a success story”, says Dirk Claus. “To ensure that this remains the case, the performance capability of the port’s intermodal terminals is being further increased. Kiel will in future also be in a position to handle significantly longer train combinations”, he declares. As part of a programme to improve seaport hinterland transport, the German Government recently agreed to adapt the Kiel-Meimersdorf marshalling yards to cope with goods train combinations of up to 740 m in length – as against 550 m currently. The work will be carried out in 2018 and is absolutely essential for the port. As early as this year, the marshalling area at the Schwedenkai Terminal is meanwhile getting an additional rail track to optimize train movement and make more loading slots available.
Last year 26 different cruise ships of more than 9.3 million GT – an increase of 8.1 % - berthed in Kiel a total of 147 times, compared to 132 calls in 2015. A total of 485,500 passengers boarded or disembarked from cruise ships at Kiel’s cruise shipping terminals. That was an increase of 6 % making 2016 Kiel’s best cruise shipping season ever. Arrival and passenger figures along with the overall tonnage figure are all records for the port. And even if the figures for the coming season do not quite reach those of last year, Kiel once again expects many a highlight in 2017. Right at the beginning of the season the 138,000 GT “MSC Fantasia” - 333 m long and for a maximum 3,970 passengers – will take her station on the Kiel Fiord. From April 29th the ship will undertake 21 cruises starting in Kiel. Dirk Claus says: “Our terminal facilities are designed to handle ship turn-abouts involving 4,000 passengers. As the base port for “MSC Fantasia” Kiel is exploiting this capability for the first time and is now entering a new dimension”, he adds. Further cruise seasonal highlights this year include the maiden voyage (June 3rd to 14th ) of TUI Cruises’ latest ship - “Mein Schiff 6” - to and from Kiel, as well as the Kieler Woche sailing regatta. During the Kieler Woche from June 17th to 25th, fifteen cruise ships will visit the port, among them Cunard Line’s “Queen Elizabeth”. From an operational point of view the PORT OF KIEL’s will focus mainly on the five occasions when three ships will be berthed in the port at the same time, as well as on June 3rd and August 12th – the dates on which four cruise ships will be berthed simultaneously in Kiel apart from the regular big ferries.
As of the time of writing, 28 different cruise ships have registered for a total 133 calls during the 2017 cruise season. Some 440,000 passengers are expected in the port. The season opens on April 9th with the arrival of the “AIDAcara”. It closes on October 21st with the “AIDAvita”. In readiness for new regulations governing the disposal of waste water from ships, the Ostseekai cruise shipping terminal is being equipped with a reception plant and connected by pipeline to the city network. This will increase tenfold the current waste water capacity of 30 m³/hour.