A year has passed since Ansis Zeltiņš assumed the office of CEO of the Freeport of Riga last August. Future development plans and the future course of the Port of Riga are the topics of the interview with the CEO in the season’s opening programme Transport Today.
While the country is preoccupied with the celebration of the centenary, Zeltiņš mentions the Freeport of Riga development programme for the next ten years, which must be finished and approved by the end of this year, as one of the main challenges at the moment. “The work on the programme is actively moving forward, as there is not much time left. However, in my opinion, it is most crucial to ensure that the plan is of high quality and correlates with the actual situation and possibilities. We can come up with the most diverse strategies, but at the end of the day it is all about their implementation. In any case, the development programme will be developed by the end of the year. This is the setting and we are working on it”, Zeltiņš highlights.
With regard to the future course, Zeltiņš says that in perspective it is important to increase the share of production-related cargoes: “Production in the port would promote synergy with cargo transport. Cargo flow and containers are closely related to production, which itself guarantees volumes of cargoes in the port. In this regard, we are carrying out active work and looking towards Belarus, which in the future is a strategic partner of the Port of Riga in the field of cargo transport. Their production sector is developing rather rapidly”.
In analysing the future of general cargo and container transport on the European scale, perspectives tend to vary. However, the Port of Riga is experiencing a significant and rapid growth in these segments this year. Likewise, a highly rapid increase is observed in the volumes of handled grain and grain products. “I have a goal set in mind – to reach one million handled containers per year, and we will definitely strain after that. Even if this does not sound ambitious within the context of the ten-year plan, one million containers is a lot”, Zeltiņš explains. It can be forecast that the Port of Riga might handle a total of half a million containers this year, which will be the highest indicator in the entire history of the Port of Riga.