Port of Esbjerg’s new multipurpose terminal open for business
Port of Esbjerg’s new multipurpose terminal has opened its doors last week. With the new facility, the port wants to accommodate the growth of its ro/ro and project cargo volumes. Car carrier City of St.Petersburg of Scandinavian Auto Logistics was the first ship to call at the new terminal, delivering 1,200 cars for the Danish market.
Construction of the new multi-terminal began this summer and the project was completed last week. “For us, the opening of the multi-terminal was a just-in-time event. The fact that it was completed now means that we have sufficient space available at precisely the right time because the period just before Christmas is traditionally a time when we have large volumes of cars coming in”, says Michael Lodberg, Commercial Director of Scandinavian Auto Logistics.
SAL is the first tenant at the new multi-terminal, and the company expects the new facility to help drive growth in 2020. “Based on total car sales in Denmark, we currently have a market share of about 25 per cent. We expect that the additional space and facilities at the new multi-terminal will help us grow our market share in 2020,” says Lodberg.
The new 40,000 square metres multipurpose terminal represents an investment of about DKK 15 million (EUR 2 million) for Port Esbjerg. It accommodates the growing demand for storage and shipping of cars and project cargo like wind turbine component and other goods.
“I’m so pleased that the terminal is now in operation and being used by the companies at the port. I hope that it will help to strengthen inter-modal traffic throughout Europe and make moving goods by sea a more attractive mode of transport,” says Port Esbjerg’s CCO Jesper Bank, adding that the terminal is already fully booked.
Attractive ro/ro proposition
The terminal represents an attractive proposition for ro/ro carriers who have been increasingly chasing project cargo loads now global car sales are declining.
According to data from Clarksons Research Services, global seaborne car trade is tipped to fall 2% this year. Car carriers are experiencing among the worst growth figures in volumes shipped over the past decade.
The 2% drop means a total of 21.7 million cars will be shipped this year. At a regional level, China is experiencing the biggest fall in imports with a decrease of 8%.
To cushion the impact and attract new sources of income, leading car carriers like Wallenius Wilhelmsen and Hoëgh Autoliners are actively promoting their vessels as a better, less risky alternative to ship project cargo. With fewer lifting involved, there’s less risk of cargo damage while the frequent liner services offer timely delivery, the company’s say.