Sweden’s port of Gothenburg has seen a 40% year-on-year increase in car volumes over the first four months of 2010, handling 62,500 cars between January and April, compared with 157,000 for the whole of 2009.
Vehicle throughput was the hardest hit segment of the port’s activity during the economic downturn, with combined import and export figures down around 43% in 2009 over 2008 figures.

The downturn led to a revision in the ownership and management structures at the port with the City of Gothenburg retaining ownership of the port authority – Göteborgs Hamn AB (GHAB) – while privatising the terminals which have been temporarily divided into container/ro-ro (short sea) and car (deep sea), and managed separately. The port is currently looking for private buyers for both terminals. Meanwhile, all operations (including personnel) in the respective terminals will be transferred to newly formed companies for each terminal.

The change in structure and ownership is aimed at achieving greater specialisation and bringing external expertise, according to Peter Karlsson, managing director Gothenburg Car Terminal. It is also designed to give the port authority a greater opportunity to develop the port as a national logistics centre.