30 years Kiel-Klaipeda
by Ilka Gerlach
(Kiel/Klaipeda, 15th April 2023) On 15 April 1993, the ferry connection Kiel - Klaipeda was put into operation for the first time by the Lithuanian Shipping Company (LISCO UAB) with the "Siauliai". In the past 30 years, the Baltic Sea route has become increasingly important and is still the only daily direct ferry connection between Germany and Lithuania.
"Germany is the most important partner for the port of Klaipeda. The growing cargo flows between Germany and Lithuania only highlight the strategic importance of our partnership. The ferry connection between Klaipeda and Kiel, which has been operating successfully for three decades, also bears witness to this. I am very proud of such a long-standing and valuable cooperation and looking to the future, I believe this is just the beginning," says Algis Latakas, General Director of the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority. Kiel also looks back on this anniversary with satisfaction: "Ports connect and create security of supply across national borders. With the 30th anniversary of the Kiel - Klaipeda line, we are also celebrating a long and good partnership with the port of Klaipeda," emphasises Dirk Claus, Managing Director at PORT OF KIEL. The same applies to the close partnership with DFDS. The Danish shipping company has operated a ferry line on the route since 1998. "Together with the port of Klaipeda and DFDS, we can look back on a German-Lithuanian success story and look forward to the next decades of cooperation," Claus makes clear.
In the past decades, the route has seen a steady growth in freight volumes. It is now one of the highest-volume routes between Germany and the Baltic States. "Since it’s opening in 1993, the route has become an important cargo and passenger transportation bridge between Germany and Lithuania, cementing its position as intermodal alternative to driving by road. We have been able to constantly evolve adopting to growing demands of freight customers," says Aleksej Slipenciuk, Route Director at DFDS Seaways AB, and continues, "we appreciate our excellent partnership with PORT OF KIEL and SEEHAFEN KIEL Stevedoring at the Ostuferhafen terminal, which DFDS continuously supports as a route operator and which, through the use of larger vessels, the reduction of queues and waiting times and the digitalisation of terminal services have created favourable development conditions that have raised service standards for both cargo customers and passengers," Slipenciuk emphasises, "we congratulate and thank all the parties involved in this success and are looking forward to continuing the journey together."###