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Riga and Klaipeda included in TOP-10 ports in Baltic Sea Region by container turnover

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 15.04.2014.Print version
In 2013, the Top 10 Baltic container ports handled 7.82 mln TEU, about 3.1% more than in 2012. Half of the top ten ports reported an increase (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Klaipeda, Riga, Helsinki). The author of the “Port Monitor” analysis is Monika Rozmarynowska, consultant at Actia Consulting Department Assistant at the Gdynia Maritime University.

Baltic container ports

The most spectacular step forward was reported in Gdańsk. In 2013 this port handled 248 thou.TEU (+26.8 %) more than in 2012 and reached a level of 1.17 million TEU. Thereby, Gdańsk became the second largest container port within the Baltic Sea Region. Noticeable positive changes took place also in Gdynia (+7.9 %, +53.26 thou. TEU), Klaipeda (+5.6 %, +21.26 thou. TEU) and Riga (+5.2%, +18.8 thou. TEU). In Helsinki, in turn, the increase was marginal (+0.4 %, +1.56 thou. TEU).


Among the ports, which recorded a negative change, the most significant declines occurred in the case of Kaliningrad (-12.7%, –47.14 thou. TEU ) and Gothenburg (-4.7 %, –42 thou. TEU). Throughputs in the rest of top 10 Baltic container ports decreased only by fractions of a percent.

European container ports

In 2013, the Top 10 European container ports handled 56.31 million TEU, 1.6% more than in 2012. The ranking includes only North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea ports, the Baltic's largest container port, St. Petersburg, is ranked just outside the European Top 10. In 2013 most ports retained their positions. Invariably the four largest ports are: Rotterdam (11.62 mln TEU), Hamburg (9.3 mln TEU), Antwerp (8.58 mln TEU) and Bremerhaven (5.83 mln TEU). Changes occurred in the case of further positions. Port of Algeciras handling 4.34 million TEU, slightly overtook Valencia (4.33 million TEU) and ranked 5th largest container port in Europe.


Half of the ports from Top 10 recorded a positive change in container turnover. The highest increase occurred in the case of Piraeus, where throughput grew by 15.3% to 3.16 million TEU.

Comparable pace of growth was recorded by port of Gioia Tauro (14 %). Container turnover rose by several percent in Marsaxlokk (+8.3 %), Algeciras (+5.6%) and Hamburg (+5.0%).


Other ports experienced declines. The most noticeable negative changes have occurred in Bremerhaven, where container volumes were down by 4.6% (by 0.28 million TEU). 3.1% fewer containers were handled in the port of Valencia. Declines of 2.1% were recorded by Rotterdam and Felixstowe, in Antwerp, in turn, container throughput decreased by 0.6%.

Container ports in the world

In 2013, the top 10 container ports in the world handled 204.1 million TEU. Comparing with 2012, these ports recorded a moderate increase at the level of 2.9%. The ranking of top ten container ports is dominated by Chinese ports, only three ports are located in other countries: Singapore, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.


In 2013, Shanghai, the largest container port in the world, handled 33.6 million TEU. Only by 1 million TEU lower result was achieved by Singapore (32.6 million TEU). The annual growth rate for both ports was comparable and amounted 3.3% in Shanghai and 3.0% in Singapore. In 2013, on the third position was Shenzhen, which replaced Hong Kong and handled 23.3 million TEU.


Among 10 largest container ports, the highest increase was noticed by Chinese Ningbo (+7.1%). Comparable growth took place in the other Chinese port – Qingdao (+7.0 %). The decrease in container turnover was noticed only in Hong Kong, which handled in 2013 about 0.8 million TEU (-3.6%) less than in 2012.


“Port Monitor” is a series of periodic reports regarding the seaports markets in the Baltic Sea, as well as on European and global scale. The reports are prepared by team of experts of Actia Forum, Gdynia, Poland.

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