In 2018, listed Estonian shipper Tallink carried a total of 9.8 million passengers, remaining steady on year, however the number of cargo units transported increased 5.7% on year to 385,000.
The number of passenger vehicles transported by the shipper decreased 0.8% compared to the previous year, however, totalling 1.1 million vehicles in 2018, Tallink told the Tallinn Stock Exchange (TSE).
"The fact that Tallink, despite several challenges and factors influencing our market, has once again managed to grow its passenger numbers on year in 2018, is definitely a result we can be happy with," Tallink CEO Paavo Nõgene said on Thursday. "The docking of the MS Baltic Princess at the beginning of the year for longer than originally planned impacted our passenger numbers early in the year. We made up for this during our high season, however, and achieved a record number of passengers again in July, transporting a total of 1,221, 901 passengers in that month alone."
According to Mr Nõgene, the strong growth Tallink saw in cargo transport continued throughout the year on all of its routes, setting a new record by the end of 2018.
"In addition to our ongoing programme of passenger vessel renovations, we are also continuing to upgrade and modernise our cargo vessels to ensure that we continue to develop this important part of our business," he noted, adding that the relocation of the company's Estonia-Finland cargo route to Muuga on the Estonian side in October 2017 and the launch of the Smart Port solution in Tallinn's Old City Harbour in spring 2018 both contributed to improved services for the shipper's cargo customers.
"2019 will see several vessels in our fleet receive upgrades and new, modern facilities," the CEO highlighted. "This is just one of the things we are doing to continue to attract more customers to Tallink's vessels. We know that in order to stay ahead of the competition and continue growing our customer numbers in the future, we need to change, innovate and develop constantly. With the strong, dedicated and professional team we have here at Tallink, I know we will do our best to deliver what's expected of us and hopefully more."
Editor: Aili Vahtla