The Port of Jakobstad can now proudly state that it has one of the deepest sea channels in the Gulf of Bothnia. Since August 2015 a new draught of 11 meters has made it possible for larger vessels and heavier cargo to make it to the port. The dredging material was used to build up about 14 hectares of new port area.
“Both the depth and the load capacity are important from an environmental point of view as well,” says Pauli Rautiainen, Operative Manager at Euroports, the forwarding agent at the port. He’s referring to the sulphur directive, which regulates the shipping industry today.
“The competition between ports is tough. The fact that we can offer a clean and flexible port with a quick turnaround time and a channel depth that allows for bigger cargo is something to take notice of.”
During 2016 the development of the logistics network around the Port of Jakobstad will be finalised. The railway will be electrified and the new port road restored. This means the access road is able to carry larger and heavier cargo, making the port more accessible.
“This gives us a totally new competitive edge when it comes to logistics. The port isn’t just important to the city, it’s important for trade and industry in the whole region. The investments made by the port have boosted economic growth in the area because it draws in industries that will benefit from the infrastructure,” says Port Director Kristian Hällis.
The regeneration has made the port attractive as an import port, but also as a transit port. And that’s where there are promising options for expansion.
“Investment has to go hand in hand with current trends and the fact that the vessels are becoming bigger. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at the port. Our strengths are our experience, our staff, equipment and the businesses around us. We have plenty of opportunities to grow and we are ready for new challenges,” says Rautiainen.
The bread and butter of the Port of Jakobstad is cargo to and from the forestry industry.
“The forestry industry doesn’t just revolve around trees, it also handles bulk products like lye and cement. The more you can ship in one go the better. Here we’re well served by the port’s and Europort’s joint development company Timberpak, which has specialised in stowing, building and renting out storage facilities. It’s a fantastic tool to have access to,” says Hällis.