During the past year the Freeport of Riga has reached the unprecedented volume of cargo handling – a threshold of 41 million tons (+ 15.8%) was exceeded, which is the largest amount ever handled during the year by one of the Latvian ports.
This year’s first month results show that the growth trend continues – 3.5 million tons were handled in January, which is by 8.3% more than in January 2014. 3872 vessels called the Freeport of Riga in 2014, including 3797 commercial vessels.
Although the total number of vessels compared with the year 2013 slightly decreased (-1.4%), the total gross tonnage of vessels increased and reached 48.3 million GT (+ 2.3%). The most significant increase was registered in the average tanker GT indicator (+ 16%).
The average GT of dry bulk carriers, calling the port, also increased (+ 14%), which to some extent compensates a reduction in the number of vessels in the relevant vessel group. Similarly, the average GT of cruise ships visiting the port has increased (+ 5%). Container carrier lines, operating at the Freeport of Riga, used to employ vessels with larger GT (+ 10% to the average GT indicator) in 2014.
All this confirms the fact that the cargo owners continue to optimize transport costs and try to use larger vessels where possible. And it is evident that the Riga port has to urgently implement fairway dredging project and build additional deep-water berths.