The Port of Gdańsk had its busiest year on record last year due to a sharp increase in the handling of coal and other fuels, grain, wood, and iron ore, the port’s CEO Łukasz Greinke confirmed.
The port handled 68 million tons of various goods in 2022, an 28 percent increase of 15 million tons compared with 2021.
In an interview with the wnp.pl news portal, Greinke explained the increase was a result of the war in Ukraine, which meant that much traffic stopped across land from the east. Coal is a classic example here, accounting for 12.5 million tons of the total. The CEO reported that the port’s capacity for handling coal has now risen to 20 million tons per year.
Oil is another example. The estimated turnover in oil is now 24 million tons, up 6 million tons from 2018.
In terms of the handling of goods from or for Ukraine, the port’s volume rose sharply in early spring of last year, just after the beginning of the war, reaching a level of 400,000-500,000 tons per month. Most of that traffic was made up of grain, corn, iron ore, and steel. Trade with Ukraine has more than made up for that lost with Russia, Greinke explained; however, the CEO felt that the record volume of traffic in the port had more to do with domestic demand.
The Port of Gdansk is expanding into a Baltic hub and is constructing a terminal to handle CO2 with the help of EU funding. Łukasz Grienke feels that the turnover for 2023 should top 70 million tons, and with such rapid growth, the port has to be expanded.
He said that ports are an essential part of national security and must have the capacity to handle emergencies. That capacity helps to boost Poland’s status in the region.
Asked about Chinese investment in Polish ports, Greinke highlighted that the Chinese have already invested in the Port of Gdynia, but he argues it is better to secure investors such as pension funds rather than firms engaged in cargo that have their own interests to defend and promote.
In any case, any changes in the structure of ownership of any port in Poland have to be approved by the Polish authorities.