7.6 million tonnes of goods handled in record quantities at the PORT OF KIEL

by Eva Arning

922,000 passengers indicate clear upward trend in sea tourism

Forst Products Ostuferhafen / Picture: PORT OF KIEL


(Kiel, 20th January 2022) The seaport of Kiel handled a cargo volume of 7.6 million tonnes in 2021. This is 9.3 % more than in the previous year and represents a new record for the PORT OF KIEL. In particular, the high growth rates on the Gothenburg route (total freight result 2.1 million tonnes/+16% compared to the previous year) and the Klaipeda route (total freight result 2.9 million tonnes/+9% compared to the previous year) more than compensated for the expected declines in the paper business (total paper result 0.66 million tonnes/-12% compared to the previous year). Volume growth was also recorded on the Oslo connection (total freight result 0.6 million tonnes/+2 % compared to the previous year). With 921,796 ferry and cruise passengers, sea tourism almost doubled compared to the previous year (517,540). With a total of 134 port calls (previous year 29), Kiel was one of the most frequented Northern European cruise ports in 2021. Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director at the PORT OF KIEL: "We are very satisfied with the volume achieved in the cargo sector. The passenger figures are also good. For 2022 we expect a further improvement and a return to the new normal. We have seen in 2021 that travel, both on ferries and on cruise ships, is possible on the basis of our sound hygiene concepts developed together with the shipping companies. The demand for ship travel is there." The booking situation to date gives the PORT OF KIEL reason to hope for a stronger cruise season in 2022. A good result is also expected again for the cargo sector. 

Thanks to the staff

Dr Dirk Claus: "I would like to express my gratitude to our employees. They contribute to the success of the PORT OF KIEL with great motivation every day. Our stevedores and industrial colleagues do not have the opportunity to work from home. Every single one of them ensures stable supply chains through their daily work on site. The PORT OF KIEL has continued to recruit in 2020 and 2021 and we will also continue to train. Because one thing is very important to us and to me personally: even in these not entirely easy times, we want to create and maintain good and secure jobs here in the seaport of Kiel." As part of the critical infrastructure, the PORT OF KIEL has appropriate contingency plans in place to remain operational at all times, even under more severe Corona conditions.

Strong growth in maritime tourism - further recovery expected in 2022.

2021 was a good year, both for ferry traffic with 633,000 passengers (previous year 483,000) and especially for the cruise sector with 289,000 passengers (previous year 34,500). With 134 cruise ship visits in 2021, Kiel was one of the most successful Northern European cruise ports, even though passenger numbers naturally remained lower than in normal times. Without Corona, one million passengers in 2021 would have been a realistic figure. Well over 200 cruise ship registrations have already been received for 2022. In this respect, the PORT OF KIEL is optimistic about a further improved season with a further increase in passenger numbers. Together with its partners, the port of Kiel offers the appropriate concepts to ensure this in an environmentally friendly and safe manner from Kiel. The seaport regrets the temporary suspension of the Ro-Pax ferries "Color Fantasy" and "Color Magic" in the service of Color Line. The PORT OF KIEL is optimistic that the regular service can be resumed again at short notice, also for passengers. The cargo ferry "Color Carrier" continues to operate between Oslo and Kiel.

Intermodal transport with consolidation

In 2021, a good result was once again achieved in intermodal transport, even though with 30,624 units (previous year 32,957), approximately 7% fewer consignments were transported by rail than in the record year 2020 due to the Corona pandemic and restructurings in the portfolio of the railway companies. Environmentally friendly hinterland traffic is a central component of the port of Kiel's BLUE PORT strategy and makes a significant contribution to shifting truck traffic. After the strong growth rates in this area in recent years and the consolidation in 2021, however, the focus is now on growth once again. The PORT OF KIEL is confident in this regard, as the foundations for further growth have already been laid with the weekday connection to Verona via the Lehrte mega-hub, which was introduced in September 2021. As a result, it has been possible to significantly increase the capacity and destination offer for shipping company and forwarding customers and also to directly connect the Ostuferhafen with the economic area of northern Italy.

Environmental report presented - climate neutrality by 2030

The PORT OF KIEL has set itself the goal of reducing all the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions it produces to zero by 2030. The port's three-stage plan, presented on 24th November 2021, envisages covering 60 % of the energy requirements of ships calling at Kiel with green electricity in 2022/2023. In 2025, this figure is to rise to 80 % to 90 % before climate neutrality is achieved in 2030. On-shore power is the central element in reducing emissions. The existing shore power facilities at Ostseekai, Schwedenkai and Norwegenkai are operational and are used by ferries and cruise ships. Construction of the on-shore power plant at Ostuferhafen will start in 2022. The PORT OF KIEL has done its homework in this area and invested in on-shore power at an early stage and out of conviction. In 2022/2023, 60 to 80 cruise ships are expected to berth in a climate-neutral manner in the port of Kiel.

Key projects for 2022

The PORT OF KIEL is increasing its investment in digitalisation and at the end of 2021, it received the funding approval from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure for the establishment and operation of a digital test field in the Kiel seaport. As part of the D-TECH-BASE project, port terminals for roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) traffic will become test fields for the new 5G terminal communication and traffic control for the first time. The project, worth about 1.75 million euros, focuses on the Ostuferhafen and Schwedenkai and will run for a good two and a half years until 30th June 2024. In order to be fit for the future regarding the next generation of ships, the PORT OF KIEL has started the construction of two new and wider RoRo bridges in the Ostuferhafen in 2021. Once the work has been completed, berths 5 and 6 will be ready to handle two more RoRo ferries smoothly and quickly. Both renovated berths will be connected to shore power with electricity from renewable sources. In addition, the railway terminal's tracks will be made passable for heavy loads. All construction work is fully on schedule. Construction is expected to be completed in early au-tumn 2022.


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