The operations of Port of Turku Ltd developed steadily in 2018. The Port’s transport volumes were mainly at the high level achieved in the previous year, and the turnover and operating profit of the port enterprise increased slightly compared to 2017. The expectations are positive for the current financial year, too.
Growth of transports slowed down due to vessel maintenance breaks
A total of 3.3 million passengers travelled through the Port of Turku, despite a longer than usual maintenance break of one passenger vessel. The maintenance break extended to eight weeks and had a greater impact on cargo transports, the volume of which decreased by 6.8 per cent on the previous year. The total cargo volume stood at 2.3 million tonnes, of which exports accounted for 1.2 million tonnes and imports for 1.1 million tonnes.
Financial performance improved through enhanced operations
Turnover for the financial year increased by 0.4 per cent compared to 2017 and stood at 22.8 million euros. Operating profit stood at 5.1 million euros. The good performance was affected by more efficient operations and high demand for logistics warehousing services. To enhance the warehousing services, the Port of Turku acquired in summer 2018 the majority holding of Turku Free Zone Company Ltd whose added value services support and complement the Port’s own warehouse operations. Other significant investments during the financial year included the improvement of the Port’s main fairway and purchase of new weighing equipment. At the year-end, the number of personnel employed by Port of Turku Ltd was 72.
Renewing stock of vessels increased the cargo transport capacity
At the beginning of 2018, the cargo shipping companies operating liner traffic in the Port of Turku renewed their stock of vessels and increased their capacity. Mann Lines’ new, efficient ro-ro vessel ML Freyja arrived to the route directly from the shipyard in January. At the same time, another Finnlines vessel that had undergone the lengthening process started operating. Thanks to the lengthened vessels, the shipping company’s cargo capacity on the route between Turku and Germany has increased by thousands of lane metres.
Planning of joint terminal for vessel traffic commenced
Port of Turku, City of Turku, Tallink Silja Oy and Viking Line Abp signed in autumn 2018 a strategic letter of intent on co-operation for the development of the port area in Turku. The development project is divided into three parts, of which the new joint terminal for vessel traffic and the multi-storey car park to be built nearby will be the most visible items and involve the biggest investments. The goal is to complete the new terminal by the end of 2024. The other parts of the project focus on further development of the areas released from port operations as well as traffic arrangements in the western part of the inner harbour.
Port of Turku stopped disposal of dredging masses in the sea
The repairs of the main fairway leading to the Port of Turku were completed in autumn 2018, which allowed for the re-evaluation of the need for disposal of dredging masses. In conjunction with that, the Board of Directors of Port of Turku Ltd decided to end the disposal of dredging masses in the sea and started with the City of Turku a study on switching to alternative methods of disposal, primarily disposal on land, by 2024. In the first stage the site will be the Latokari area in Hirvensalo, and the City of Turku is working fast to take it into use. The City’s budget includes a provision for the dam structures of embankment pools, and the work on them is set to start in 2020.
Strong economy of Southwest Finland boosts the growth expectations
During the financial year, exports from Finland continued to be busy, although the economic growth began to stabilise towards the end of the year. Port of Turku Ltd nevertheless expects its operations to grow slightly in 2019, too. The positive outlook is based on Southwest Finland’s livelier economy compared to many other regions, its engines being the maritime industry, machine technology and automotive industry. Alongside industry-driven cargo transports the number of passengers is also expected to increase. The number of secured cruise liner calls is already the same as last year, and the number will grow further in 2020.
Strong focus on the future in 2019
During 2019, the Port of Turku is already preparing for reforms of the coming years. The planning of the new joint terminal continues in co-operation with the shipping companies. Tallink Silja’s field area will be renovated and the planning of the new multi-storey car park will start this year. The car park is due for completion in 2021 when a new vessel will start operating between Turku and Stockholm. The safety of passengers and cargo is developed by testing new methods at the check-in of both cars and passengers. The new gate, photo and weighing systems will enhance and speed up the operations, as will the automatic mooring and unmooring system to be set up in the passenger harbour.
On the whole, 2018 was a good year both operationally and financially. Thanks for that go to our customers and partners as well as our professional staff. I believe that the work and decisions done during the year will bear fruit far into the future.
Christian Ramberg Managing Director Port of Turku Ltd