The number of export containers passing through the Port of Gothenburg increased by 4% through to the end of June. At the same time, imports fell by 1% and overall, container trade improved by 2% during the first six months of this year.
Around 30% of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg and over 60% of all container movements.
“Swedish foreign trade has remained relatively strong in an unsettled world economy. A clear trend is that volumes during the second quarter are better in the majority of freight categories compared to the first quarter,” said Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive.
In total, 466,000 containers were shipped via the Port of Gothenburg between January and June, 2% up on the same period last year.
For rolling goods transported by sea within Europe –ro-ro traffic – a mixed picture is emerging. In the case of trailers, volumes remain unchanged compared to the first half of 2012.
“Stabilisation in trailer traffic could be an indication that European flows have bottomed out after several years of decline,” said Mr Kårestedt.
However, because other ro-ro freight volumes are falling, particularly paper, the overall figure for ro-ro units is down 3%.
“These are tough times for the forestry industry and this is very noticeable in the decrease in paper flows through the port,” said Mr Kårestedt.
Around half of Sweden’s crude oil enters the country through Gothenburg. The oil is then refined into petrol, diesel or asphalt. During the first half of the year, 10.3 million tonnes of crude oil and other forms of energy were refined compared to 10.7 tonnes last year. The downturn can be explained mainly by a maintenance stoppage at one of the refineries and the closure of a berth, also for maintenance.
The number of cars shipped via the Port of Gothenburg has been falling for a long time. During the first six months of the year, 76,000 cars were loaded or unloaded at the port, a fall of 18% on the same period in 2012. The decrease has been attributed largely to a downturn in the export of Volvo cars to its key markets, Europe and the USA.