- Published on Thursday, 16 August 2012 15:22
In the first seven months of 2012 the Freeport of Riga handled 21.96 million tons of cargo which is almost 2 million or 9.6% more than in the same accounting period last year.
Traditionally, the biggest increase can be observed in the bulk cargo sector – this year 12.86 million tons of bulk cargo were handled which is 13.5% more than in the same period last year. Coal cargos saw their volumes increase most significantly – from the beginning of the year up to now their volumes were 13% or a million tons more than over the seven months last year, amounting to almost 9 million tons. Tendencies on the global market and cargo owners’ interest to forward their coal cargos further via the Port of Riga, gives a valid reason to think that coal cargo volumes will increase. Unfortunately, sharper increase is hindered due to insufficient cargo area, therefore, a part of cargos which could be handled at Riga terminals is shifted to other ports. Therefore, the issue regarding capacity of bulk cargo terminals and cargo area enlargement by embarking on the construction of Krievu Sala Project should be solved immediately.
Bulk cargo sector also saw an increase in the grain and grain product group – 411 thousand tons were handled which is 153 thousand tons more than over the seven months last year. Practically, transport of various metals doubled (118 000 tons in total), it handled 21 thousand tons more (62 000 tons) of scarp metal. In the group of bulk cargos without a detailed subdivision, including wooden granules, asphalt, soy products, etc., the increase amounted to 904 thousand in comparison with last year. And volumes of saw timber grew by one third, constituting 184 thousand tons.
Practically, volumes of woodchip (-1%) and mineral fertilizer (- 3.8%) cargos remain at the same level as last year – this cargo group played a significant role in the overall port cargo turnover, amounting to 888 thousand tons. The Port of Riga handled less peat, ore, ferroalloy cargo types.
In the general cargos sector all cargo groups, except timber and food, saw their volumes increase ensuring an average increase of this cargo sector turnover by 6%. In the general cargos sector 3.98 million tons of various cargos were handled. The greatest success can be observed in the area of containerised cargos – this year their volumes were 26.2% larger than in the same accounting period last year. There were also more and more roll on/roll off cargos – +9.1%, amounting to 337 thousand tons.
Liquid cargo sector had small but positive increase dynamics – +3.4%. This year the port handled 5.1 million tons of liquid cargos where oil products accounted for the largest volumes – 5.09 million tons or 3.3% more than in the same period of 2011.
The total number of passengers served by the Port of Riga is rapidly approaching half a million – during the seven months 484 538 passengers arrived in and left Riga which is 5.2% more than during the seven months last year. The greatest satisfaction is given by the increase in cruise ship passenger numbers by 24% or 10 thousand people more than last year – this year 50 868 cruise tourists have been served so far. This week the 1000th cruise ship (since the year of 2000) grounded in Riga. There were approximately a thousand passengers aboard the luxury cruise ship and more than 500 crew members. Andris Ameriks, Chairman of Board of the Freeport of Riga Authority, informs, “Cruise passengers are very significant not only to the port, but mainly to the tourism and services sector of the city. Unfortunately, we cannot wharf more than 2 cruise ships at the same time in the existing quaysides near the centre of Riga which is important for tourists – it is not enough as the demand is bigger. As I have already said, the issue regarding construction of a new cruise ship quayside at the Cable Bridge on Kipsala side is being dealt with.”