Yesterday Port of Karlshamn was visited by the Swedish Parliament, the Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Communications, Mrs Karin Svensson Smith, joined by the Chairman on the Regional Council, Mrs Christina Mattisson. The site manager of Volvo Cars Body Components Olofström, CEO of IKEA Svenska AB, site manager of DFDS Seaways and the Mayor of Karlshamn were also present. The meeting was arranged by Region Blekinge and the purpose was to be informed about the activities and development in the port and to discuss the infrastructure.
Mats Olsson, CEO Port of Karlshamn, informed about the positive development in the port. Especially regarding rail cargo volumes over the last year. A development made possible through investments in a new Intermodal Rail Terminal and electrification of the railway line to the port. The investment was co-financed via EU, the Motorways of the Seas program. Today the port is served by three rail operators and more are to come.
DFDS Seaways, Lars Malmström, presented a continued steady growth on the ferry line Karlshamn-Klaipeda. The growth much stronger than expected in the long term prognosis of Swedish Transport Administration. Lars Malmström hope to see even bigger vessels on the line, now served by three RoPax-vessels.
Magnus Nilsson, Volvo Cars and Mikael Stjernquist, IKEA Svenska pointed out the need for "Sydostlänken", a 18 km missing railway link between Olofström (Volvo Cars site), Älmhult (IKEA head office/Distribution centre) and Port of Karlshamn, both for rail cargo trains and commuting. They underlined that the railway link is of national interest, not only regional. Volvo Cars Olofström sees Olofström-Karlshamn as on logistical point, similar to Gothenburg. The shipments from Olofström to other continents are expected to grow considerably over the next years. Therefore Volvo Cars Olofström want to connect Olofström-Karlshamn with China and the Americas by vessel and China directly via Karlshamn-Klaipeda and further by rail, to cut down the transit time to three weeks. Going from Olofström to China via Germany/Poland-Belarussia will mean a detour with time and money lost in reloading, partly due to different rail gauge.
The importance of a direct land bridge connection via Karlshamn-Klaipeda and Port of Karlshamn as a growing logistical hub of national interest was a "message received" by Mrs Karin Svensson Smith, who is a great supporter of Shipping and Rail.
Text + Photo: Karlshamns Hamn AB
For more information, please contact CEO Mats Olsson +46-(0)454-30 50 00, +46-(0)70-973 15 94