Port of Tallinn 2019 cargo volumes down, passenger numbers up on year ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Cruise ships at the Port of Tallinn.
Cruise ships at the Port of Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

In 2019, the annual cargo volumes of listed Estonian port operator Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) totaled 19.9 million tons, down 3.3 percent on year, while the number of passengers served increased by 0.2 percent on year to a record 10.64 million passengers.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, 5.6 million tons of cargo and 2.3 million passengers passed through ports operated by Port of Tallinn. Compared with the same period the previous year, cargo volumes increased by 12.3 percent due primarily to liquid bulk. Passenger volumes increased by 1.2 percent, and the number of ship calls increased by 2.8 percent to 1,893 calls, Tallinna Sadam told the Tallinn Stock Exchange (TSE).

In 2019,  the Port of Tallinn's annual cargo volume totaled 19.9 million tons, decreasing by 3.3 percent on year due primarily to a decrease in liquid bulk volumes in the third quarter which, on the other hand, was balanced by growth in dry bulk.

The number of passengers, meanwhile, increased by 0.2 percent on year, reaching a record of 10.64 million passengers. This growth was driven by passenger traffic between Estonia and Finland on the Tallinn-Helsinki and Muuga-Vuosaari routes, bu was also supported by another annual record of 660,000 cruise ship passengers.

According to Port of Tallinn CEO Valdo Kalm, it is positive that the strong growth in liquid bulk in the fourth quarter, which was driven by increased demand for storage and the blending of dark petroleum products due to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) requirements for marine fuels entering into effect in the beginning of 2020, helped significantly reduce the drop in annual cargo volumes compared with the resul for the first nine months of the year. At the same time, liquid cargo business remains volatile, and growth in the fourth quarter should not be interpreted as a continuing trend.

The on-year decrease in liquid cargo was also compensated by the growth of dry bulk, due primarily to the export of Estonian grain and the import of crushed stone.

"For the number of passengers, we set a record for the 12th consecutive year, thanks to the recovery of passenger traffic between Estonia and Finland, which was also strongly supported by the addition of servicing passengers with vehicles and the addition of a new ship on the Muuga-Vuosaari route," Kalm noted. "In the cruise business, we have once again achieved a record, and Tallinn remains one of the most attractive cruise destinations in Europe."

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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