Port of Gothenburg’s record rail traffic looks set to continue

The Port of Gothenburg handled a record 458,000 TEUs during 2021, with the amount of TEUs likely to rise even higher throughout 2022.

Port of Gothenburg

Credit: Gothenburg Port Authority

Rail volume reached 458,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the Port of Gothenburg in 2021, up 9 per cent on the previous year. The increase can be ascribed in part to the introduction of four new rail shuttles, linking the port to Piteå, Gävle, Fiskarheden, and Jönköping.

The existing system has also been expanded, with more departures and an even higher loading rate. Topping the list of destinations was Falköping, where traffic rose by 27 per cent, followed by Nässjö and Karlstad at 19 per cent.

“There is considerably more interest compared to a few years ago which can be largely attributed to the high capacity that only rail transport can offer and to growing environmental awareness among transport purchasers,” Antti Laakso, Senior Logistics Development Manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority, said. “Rail has extended its lead over road transport even further following the sharp rise in diesel prices and the shortage of drivers that became increasingly apparent during the pandemic.”

The port has followed a long-term strategy over the past 20 years aimed at consolidating and expanding the rail structure at the port following the launch of the Railport Scandinavia concept. This has taken place in close partnership with various companies and organisations, including the Swedish Transport Administration and the terminal operators.

“The system has become more consistent in line with the expansion and upgrading of the Port Line, which runs right up to the quayside,” Laakso added. “Inside the port, operating efficiency has increased following extensive investment in rail-linked transloading facilities and in particular the focus on rail handling at the container terminal by APM Terminals.”

The proportion of rail-borne container freight has also risen. More than 60 per cent of container freight passing through the port is now transported by rail, a figure that most of the other major international ports can only dream of.

The Gothenburg Port Authority firmly believes in the continued development of freight transport by rail. During the coming year, the number of containers handled is expected to exceed 500,000. Despite this, there will be challenges. Rail operators anticipate considerable pressure from transport purchasers, and capacity within the Swedish rail network will need to expand more rapidly to meet demand.

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