€2 billion investment in Polish port of Świnoujście will see it compete with EU-favored Hamburg

Port of Świnoujście. (Source: Twitter@jbrudzinski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The planned construction of a new container area and fairway to the Polish port of Świnoujście will see the port become “serious competition for Hamburg” in a matter of years, according to Poland’s Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Marek Gróbarczyk.

The Polish government expects to spend over 10 billion złoty (€2.14 billion) on the development by 2029; the project includes the construction of infrastructure that will ensure access to the external port in the shape of a new approach channel from the east and a sea bank for the new external port. Resources have also been secured for the purchase of a dredger to maintain the fairways to Świnoujście and Świnoujście-Szczecin.

Currently, the ports of Świnoujście and Szczecin cannot service large trans-oceanic vessels, so they serve only as feeders into larger ports that service inter-continental trade. This will change once a deep-water approach channel is in place, and Świnoujście, in cooperation with Szczecin, will then become a large base where the largest container vessels can be accommodated. 

The new deep-water terminal, which is to be activated by 2025/2026, is designed to offload up to 2 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). The Maritime Authority in Szczecin will be obligated to set out a new approach to the port from the east to avoid crossing German waters since this area is disputed by Germany, which is already filing objections to the development of the Świnoujście port.

Currently, traffic from the Baltic Sea is handled by the port in Hamburg; this means that container ships that reach it are then offloaded onto smaller vessels, which then transport goods to Polish ports. The same applies to traffic going the other way. Container ships are therefore designated for Hamburg, while Baltic ports perform the role of feeder ports. 

According to Gróbarczyk, the investment in Świnoujście will change that paradigm with Świnoujście becoming an offloading hub for the Baltic. The development will enable the port to sign contracts with partners in the Far East and ultimately bypass the port in Hamburg.

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