The countdown continues

Markus Johansson and Nicklas Ebersson at the construction site of Stockholm Norvik Port

With less than one year to go until the official opening of Stockholm Norvik Port in May 2020 the vision of the new mega-port is gradually becoming a reality.

Construction work started in 2016 to build the Stockholm Norvik Port – the new container and RoRo port that will replace the existing container terminal at Frihamnen and increase Ports of Stockholm’s capacity for RoRo services. The preparative work has now been completed and buildings, quays, roads, bridges and railway tracks are emerging at a rapid pace.

An billion SEK project on time and on budget

With less than one year to go until the official opening of the container port in May 2020 the vision of the new mega-port is gradually becoming a reality. The customs building has completed its approval inspection and the bridge that connects to the approach road is cast and ready. The main port building, which will include office space, is now taking shape and in February the initial sections of the total six kilometres of railway track began to be laid.

Large surface areas of the Stockholm Norvik Port will be paved. During the winter a total of 70 000 square metres of paving was set in place, stone by stone, at an impressive rate of 6 000 square metres a week.

The third of Ports of Stockholm’s major port projects has therefore almost reached the finishing line and, as was also the case for the previous projects at the Värtahamnen Port and the Port of Kapellskär, the billion SEK Stockholm Norvik Port is both on time and on budget.

Nicklas Ebersson, Marketing Manager, Cargo, at Ports of Stockholm, is filled with anticipation and feels privileged to be able to present a product that will genuinely redraw the map in terms of logistics flow and make a real difference to the end customers of the shipping companies.

“The Stockholm Norvik Port is a unique project and it is incredibly gratifying to be part of building the Baltic Sea’s new mega-port. I am currently in contact with our existing customers and also cargo owners, forwarding companies and haulage contractors to inform them about the Stockholm Norvik Port and its advantages,” states Nicklas Ebersson.

The best alternative for both imports and exports

Nicklas explains that the cargo owners can sometimes dictate shipping company schedules. A new aspect of Ports of Stockholm’s strategy is therefore to market themselves not only to the shipping companies but also to the end customers.

“There are many good reasons to ship cargo here, and this is making potential customers very interested. Today around 50 percent of Sweden’s consumption happens in the Mälar Valley. Despite this the majority of goods transported to the Stockholm region arrive via ports located in southern and western Sweden. This means that they are transported long distances overland before they reach Stockholm, which is bad for business from both an environmental and transport economics perspective. The best alternative for imports and exports alike is via the quayside at the Stockholm Norvik Port, which will be one of the deepest ports in the Baltic Sea and will be able to accommodate huge oceangoing vessels."

The fact that Ports of Stockholm can also offer a good land infrastructure, with a motorway expansion almost all the way to the capital city, as well as railway connection, is of course also a good argument in favour of the Stockholm Norvik Port.

“It is very unusual for any actor other than the Swedish Transport Agency to build and finance railway track as we have done at the Stockholm Norvik Port. By making this investment we are meeting the demands of our customers for green transport,” Nicklas Ebersson explains.

The container terminal at the Stockholm Norvik Port will be run by one of the world’s largest port operators, Hong Kong-based Hutchison Ports, who are already responsible for container operations at Frihamnen. The terminal will have two rail-mounted cranes and eight straddle carriers will annually handle up to 100 000 containers, also known as TEUs.

“This is the volume we are forecasting initially. However, the intention is that this will grow to 300 000 TEUs, and in time to 500 000 TEUs annually,” says Nicklas Ebersson.

A dynamic market that demands flexibility

Thue Petersen is CEO of MSC Sweden AB, who have operated services to and from the Ports of Stockholm container terminal at Frihamnen since October 2012. The shipping company has now begun to prepare themselves and their customers for the move to the Stockholm Norvik Port.

“In the same way as Ports of Stockholm, we also need to understand and have a good overview of our customers’ needs. To that end we have initiated a dialogue about future logistics flows. We operate in a dynamic market where flexibility is important. The new port provides good opportunities for us to be able to meet the increased transport needs and efficiency demands of our customers,” says Thue Petersen.

Thue Petersen appreciates Ports of Stockholm’s “think big” attitude and the future perspective that has been applied to the construction of the Stockholm Norvik Port. He is happy that there will be a huge ocean-going vessel terminal with short approach lanes and a natural depth of 16.5 metres, which will make this a significant port for many years to come.

“As the Stockholm area grows and expands, we must consider how the logistics chain will function. It is important to us to have ports that we can have a long-term collaboration with, and who have cost-effective pricing. I believe that the Stockholm Norvik Port, with its size, has the potential to be a transshipment hub. Many of our customers in Stockholm have their own logistics centres, but we are nevertheless finding that terminal capacity is often a limiting factor,” states Thue Petersen.

The new RoRo port will open in September 2020

Nynäshamn resident Markus Johansson has worked for Ports of Stockholm for 22 years and has been Operational Manager at the Port of Nynäshamn since 2013. He is very pleased by the development of the Stockholm Norvik Port and is looking forward to greater responsibilities and getting to know additional parts of the port when the next phase, the RoRo port, officially opens at the Stockholm Norvik Port in September 2020.

“Right now I am planning how we will organise ourselves, using the traffic we currently have as a basis. It is likely that I myself and our 15 stevedores will alternate between both ports. If the traffic increases in either area we will have to reorganise or employ new resources.

The Stockholm Norvik Port is a welcome new addition, as the Port of Nynäshamn is not large enough to sustain the growth in volumes that have been seen in recent years.

“As the positive growth in shipping looks set to continue, and the demand for quay berths increases, we hope to be able to offer the shipping companies even better preconditions for growth at the Stockholm Norvik Port than we have been able to in the past at the Port of Nynäshamn,” says Markus Johansson.

Markus would like to see synergistic effects between the container and RoRo terminals at the Stockholm Norvik Port. He hopes that they will be able to help each other in different ways to make business operations more efficient.

“Even if this means more work, it will be an incredibly stimulating challenge to identify all aspects and try to run operations as efficiently as possible in both parts of the port. A lot will be different, but I can only see the opportunities,” states Markus Johansson.

From the perspective of Thue Petersen and the MSC shipping company the expanding markets in both Africa and Latin America bring major global growth opportunities, where container transport will have an increasingly decisive role.

“Container transport is a simple, cost-effective, green and flexible solution for anyone wanting to transport goods from one place to another in the world. But this naturally demands collaboration with ports that have the right preconditions to be able to handle these goods,” says Thue Petersen.

Markus Johansson peers towards the sun and points to the unclad concrete pillars that form the framework of the Stockholm Norvik Port main building, saying, “My new office will be over there in the corner, with a view over the port.”

It is clear that the pieces are now falling into place and the vision of the Stockholm Norvik Port will soon be a reality.

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