March 12, 2019

Record-breaking Port of Helsinki is Europe’s busiest

All hands on deck. The main exports transported through the Port of Helsinki are forest industry products and machinery and equipment.
All hands on deck. The main exports transported through the Port of Helsinki are forest industry products and machinery and equipment.
Veikko Somerpuro

The Port of Helsinki has retained its position as the busiest international passenger port in Europe and broken a decade-old record in annual cargo traffic.

A total of 12.1 million international passengers passed through the Port of Helsinki in 2018, representing a slight decline from the 12.3 million in 2017. Cargo traffic increased to a new high of 14.7 million tonnes, breaking the previous record from 2008.

Port of Helsinki's key numbers for 2018.

Port of Helsinki’s key numbers for 2018.

Port of Helsinki

Regardless of the slight drop in the overall number of passengers, the summer season of 2018 hit was record-breaking, with approximately 520 000 passengers arriving in Helsinki aboard 285 ships. There was an increase of 40 000 passengers relative to the previous year.

“Year 2018 for the Port of Helsinki was coloured by the new growth strategy for the coming years and the definition of key projects,” stated Ville Haapasaari, CEO of the Port of Helsinki. “We set becoming the most functional port in the world as our vision.”

The financial numbers reflected the healthy stream of goods and people, with the port seeing its revenue rise to 96.6 million euros and reporting a profit after tax of 10.6 million euros.

Toward greener shipping

The port also began an experiment where it issues green incentives for ships that take a proactive stance on reducing emissions. The incentive is a discount on vessel charges for liners that reduce air and noise pollution or make other environmental investments.

“This discount is one of the tools we use to achieve [a] more sustainable port. We encourage shipping companies to go beyond the minimum requirements in legislation in terms of reducing the environmental impact in port areas,” explained Andreas Slotte, head of sustainable development at the Port of Helsinki.

“At its best, the discount will improve shipping companies’ profitability calculations for environmental investments and influence even more environmentally friendly solutions.”

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