Kvarken Ports is one of only two port authorities in the world that combines the ports of two different countries under one roof. As a result, Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden are now stronger together. They are building an entirely new port and transport concept in the Kvarken and adapting it to the needs of both economic life and private passengers. Founded at the beginning of 2015, Kvarken Ports will be an increasingly noteworthy operator on the east-west and north-south transport routes of North Europe.
“We are beginning to implement the company’s strategy to utilise all the potential of the sea – both for business life and travellers,” says the company’s Managing Director Matti Esko.
There are numerous concrete projects in the pipeline to improve the ports’ logistics. Some of them centre on strengthening the shipping between Vaasa and Umeå and some focus on increasing freight traffic from these cities out to the world. Changes are required on both sides of the bay, especially in port infrastructure. In Vaasa, for example, the existing quay infrastructure will be made more multifunctional so that ships can be loaded using different kinds of loading methods simultaneously, whereas in Umeå investments will be made in the growth of container traffic and timber exports.
“A distinct development object in Vaasa is the project industry’s exports and imports. We must be able to serve locals even better than before. It’s a must. Many excellent solutions have already been implemented, such as organising good quality new space, increasing harbour crane capacity and improving a quay for the project industry.”
Also, LNG infrastructure is currently being planned for the port in Vaasa. Rail connections and a rail freight terminal solution are being developed for the port area with the view of the latter possibly serving as an LNG terminal in the future.
“It’s important to strengthen multi-modality, i.e. the ability to change the mode of transport as easily as possible from ship to train, for example, at both ends of the Vaasa-Umeå route,” Esko points out.
Efforts are being made to increase the traffic between the cities. A new innovative plan for a ferry that is expected to ride the waves of the Kvarken by 2020 plays an important role in this. “The new ferry will increase volume in the ports. The number of passengers has already grown with Wasaline, so we trust that growth is realistic also in the future. There’s a good chance of increasing the number of passengers coming to Vaasa, and cargo too, especially from Sweden.”
Kvarken Ports, Vaasa
Main areas: Cargo, bulk, projects, passenger, oil
Volume 2015: 1.2 million tonnes
Channel depth: 9 m
Quay types: Lolo, roro, passenger and bulk (dry and liquid)
Open: All year
Kvarken Ports, Umeå
Main areas: General cargo, bulk, projects, passenger, oil