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Record figures in Polish ports

The past year in Poland was marked by disruptions in supply chains. The Polish ports will most likely finish the year with a throughput growth – even in comparison to 2019, despite facing a lot of hindrances this year.

The container throughput grew by 3.5 percent in the period from January to October. This is an increase of 9.5v percent compared to 2020. This development continued in the fourth quarter. For 2021 the port of Gdansk reported a container throughput of 2.12 million TEUs. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of 10.1 percent.

Maciej Brzozowski

The Port of Gdynia reported a throughput of 986 thousand TEUs, which is an increase of 8.9 percent. “Everyone involved in the logistics chain faced a lot more work this year to achieve the same performance of previous years”, Mr. Brzozowski, HHM representative in Warsaw noted. He added: “I cannot remember such a turbulent year in the maritime industry as we faced in 2021”.The biggest struggle for im- and export was the ship delays. They are no longer an exception. Container terminals had to introduce some special measures, such as restricted export container deliveries, to reduce the issue of congestion at the terminals.

The road transport industry furthermore is increasingly facing a shortage of truck drivers and rising costs. Further uncertainties to the road transport industries are caused by the shipowners rediscovering the added value of taking control of the entire transport chain. Directly cooperating with shippers. A market consolidation amongst freight forwarders is, therefore, to be expected.

Hinterland connections were previously dominated by trucks. This is set to change. The Polish government is initiating major rail infrastructure in the ports. The container terminal access in Gdansk was improved and a rail terminal was expanded. The Gdynia-Port railway station has been modernized, increasing the performance of the railway, and pushing it into the 21st century.

The handling of all port-related operations has become much more complicated during the pandemic. Without the 24/7 service at the port, it is expected to become much more difficult, as such operations obviously increase capacity in all service areas. As a result, individual container trains cannot enter the Port of Gdynia. An operation on reduced hours would limit capacity and as a result, cause disruption.

It is expected that all these problems will be noticeable in 2022. Whether the situation will ease towards the end of this year is difficult to assess. However, it is certainly not expected to ease during the first weeks of 2022.

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