Outer Port a key investment for Port of Gdynia
The Outer Port is a project of great importance. This is not only an opportunity for the further development of the Port of Gdynia but also a response to the need for the offshore wind industry. We would like the expansion of the port into the bay to go hand in hand with the development of this industry. Our goal is to achieve full operational readiness of the first part of the outer pier for farms built on the basis of new concessions, indicates Jacek Sadaj, President of the Board of the Port of Gdynia Authority.
The Port of Gdynia is one of the leading ports in the southern Baltic Sea. You have regular connections all over the world: you have been recently connected with North America, India and Pakistan. What are the biggest logistic challenges for the Port of Gdynia in terms of export?
Invariably, the biggest challenges related to exports, but not only, as this also applies to imports, are bottlenecks of the feeder connections to and from the port. Road systems in the immediate vicinity of the port (Red Road) as well as bottlenecks in the rail infrastructure cause difficulties in moving freight to/from the port. As for rail traffic, the lack of modernisation of Line 201 is particularly noticeable.
At the Port of Gdynia, many investments improving access have already been completed but many are still underway, such as dredging of the approach fairway, which will enable handling larger vessels with a greater draft.
From the point of view of the Port of Gdynia, the key investment is the Outer Port. This is not only an opportunity for the further development of the Port of Gdynia but also a response to the need for the offshore wind industry. We would like the expansion of the port into the bay to go hand in hand with the development of this industry. Our goal is to achieve full operational readiness of the first part of the outer pier for farms built on the basis of new concessions. The new quays in the Outer Port will enable the entry of ships with a length of over 400 metres and a draft of up to 16 metres. Such parameters are a response to the present and future needs of the shipping market.
The Outer Port will contribute not only to the development of the Port of Gdynia but will also translate into increased budget revenues for Gdynia, Pomerania and Poland. It will be an important element of the Trans-European Transport Network TEN-T.
The Port of Gdynia also has a daily connection with Great Britain. What has changed after Brexit?
Brexit caused many changes in handling freight transport between the European Union and Great Britain. Currently, trade with this country is carried out on the same terms as with, for example, the Asian countries, and this means a lot of new obligations related to customs controls. In recent months, there have been frequent bottlenecks at border crossings between the EU and Great Britain, e.g. due to sanitary restrictions, and truck drivers were standing in long queues. Another factor influencing the organisation of transport is the lack of drivers. For these reasons, since the beginning of the year, we have been observing an increase in interest in feeder services for moving goods between the European countries, including Poland and Great Britain.
Brexit also turned out to have a positive impact on the Port of Gdynia and the number of connections in the context of trade with the UK. New services have been launched. This is due to complications in road transport between the UK and the EU, including due to staff shortages in road transport, the complexity of the clearance process, or a multitude of additional formalities.
Short sea shipping services, commonly known as short sea shipping, are an important element of the Gdynia port’s network of container connections. At the end of October, the implementation of the project entitled “Expansion of rail access to the western part of the Port of Gdynia – reconstruction and electrification” was completed. What is the significance of this project for the socio-economic development of the region?
Another important investment that responds to global trends and the increasing dynamics of rail transport. Electrification will allow reducing the use of diesel locomotives, thanks to which we will cut off the air emissions as well as noise. Due to the possibility of driving heavier trains by electric locomotives, we will increase the capacity of railway lines. The investment will also improve transport conditions, ensure energy savings and accelerate manoeuvring processes in the field of intermodal transport.
The project consisted of the expansion and modernisation of railway tracks leading to an intermodal railway terminal. Its main tasks included the construction of new tracks for shunting and the modernisation of the existing track sections – including equipping them with modern traffic control systems (SRK) and electrification. The 2.59-kilometre-long railway system was rebuilt and electrified.
The aim of the investment project was to increase the logistic capabilities of the Port of Gdynia by intensifying rail traffic while ensuring the safety of its operation. The improvement of the conditions for rail traffic and intermodal terminal management will significantly shorten the service time of trainsets. One more effect will be an enhancement in the competitiveness of rail as a mode of transport in the port freight services. Limiting the use of diesel locomotives will have a positive impact on the environmental footprint of transport.