“The first half of 2022 is a record half-year in Liepāja port history – 3.88 million tonnes of cargo. This is more than other years[..] and also slightly more than in 2018 when the record volume was transhipped throughout the year,” Uldis Hmieļevskis, manager of the Special Economic Zone of Liepāja (SEZ), said.
The war in Ukraine has also brought changes.
“There are loads that were arriving at the beginning of the year, then [later] the traffic already stopped. At the same time, very many cargo requests from different countries have been processed, respectively, which have replaced those cargoes that have gone away. For example, Belarusian chips, which are included in the sanctions list, are no longer being transshipped through the Liepāja port. On the other hand, aluminum from Kazakhstan has replaced [them],” Liepāja SEZ manager said.
Liquid cargo volumes have decreased as the oil products from Russia have stopped. Liepāja port is multifunctional and able to adapt, so it is still possible to attract new types of cargo, said the SEZ manager.
SEZ company Eker Stividor LP board member Olafs Vītols said that the company had loaded 28 different types of cargo this year. An entirely new type of cargo – coal – had appeared. Conditions are currently encouraging coal to be used for heating.
"The price of energy sources soared, so a desire to export coal has emerged. There's a lot of demand [..]. Our advantage is that if big players play in big ports and big terminals, then there are also smaller ones where activity is very high but the capacity is not so great,” said Vītols.
He also found that the volume of transit cargo had fallen significantly, meaning that most were local cargo.