Port of Tallinn cargo through-flows rose by 7 percent to 21.3 million tonnes in 2020, despite the pandemic, also a five-year high. Over the same period, passenger through-flow fell by nearly 60 percent.
Valdo Kalmu, Port of Tallinn board chair, says the company has a balanced business model which had proved its worth in four business areas during the coronavirus pandemic. While business has suffered, the peak in cargo transport also saw a 2.5 percent increase on year to the fourth quarter of 2019 (Q4 2019), as 5.8 million tons passed through the port.
The increase in freight volume is largely due to a large rise in liquid cargo, though since this comes from mostly project-based businesses, no continuous growth is expected in this area, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.
While passenger transport practically halted at the peak of the initial coronavirus spring wave, and has been subject to travel and other restrictions practically ever since, essential freight transport, for instance between Estonia and Finland, was kept open.
As a result, the number of ship visits fell by only 9.8 percent in 2020.
Passenger volumes fell 59 percent in 2020
The number of passengers in 2020 fell by 59 percent to 4.3 million passengers compared with 2019.
In Q4 2020, 600,000 passengers traveled via the Port of Tallinn, a 73 percent fall on year.
Vehicle numbers traveling by ferry through the Port of Tallinn fell by 8 percent in 2020, and the overall number of vessel visits fell by 7 percent, to 1,768.
The number of passengers between the Estonian mainland and the larger islands also fell, by 18 percent, in 2020. While Saaremaa was by far the worst-hit region of Estonia early on in the pandemic (March-May), the island was closed off to all but residents.
Editor: Andrew Whyte