Transport and logistics industry forms one fifth of Latvian economy and largely relies on the railway and three major ports. Last week, major players in the industry informed the public of their results in the last year and plans for this year.
The largest Latvian port, the Freeport of Riga, which handles more than a half of the total cargo volume in the Latvian ports, in 2018 transferred 36.4 million tons of various goods, which is 8.2% more than last year. These positive cargo turnover figures have been driven by growth in the dry bulk and general cargo segments, which has more than compensated for the dip in the liquid cargo (oil products) segment.
‘We can see that the work that has been put in finding new cargoes, our well chosen cargo diversification strategy and the ability of the port companies to adapt to the situation have brought their results: last year the Port of Riga managed to increase its cargo transfer, including achieving the highest results in the general cargo segment in the history of the Port, record high in the container and agricultural cargo segments and the record number of passengers served by the Port,’ noted Ansis Zeltiņš, CEO of the Freeport of Riga.
Year 2018 broke many new cargo transfer records for the Port of Riga. An absolute high was achieved in the container and agricultural cargo groups. The container cargo flow grew by 5.2% reaching 470 thousand TEU. At the same time, in the agricultural cargo segment, 1.9 million toms of various products went through the Port, which is 12.9% more that last year. In 2018, a new record was also set in the passenger segment with 0.87 million passengers served by the Port, which is up 44.9% in comparison with 2017. Last year was also good for the coal and timber cargo segments. The amount of coal transferred last year grew by 20.8%, while timber cargo turnover was up an impressive 34.5%.
In 2018, the Freeport of Riga implemented multiple strategically important projects that in the long term would boost its competitive ability and further expand the capacity of the Port. The largest project was the Krievu Island terminal, which was fully commissioned and is ready to accept cargoes. In 2018, an agreement with the Central Finance and Contracting Agency was signed for the European Union financing of a transport junction construction from Tvaika Street to Kundziņsala Island and substantial resources and effort were invested in maintaining the depth of the main navigation route.