Transport minister visits Hirtshals to hear about delveopment

Monday 7 September, the Danish transport minister Pia Olsen Dyhr (SF) visited the Port of Hirtshals. The minister arrived at the port with train from Hjoerring. The three general topics for the transport minister's visit were development of the port's hinterland infrastructure with the establishment of a bypass road to the eastern part of the port, establishment of a cargo rail terminal and free competition on equal terms.

Pia Olsen Dyhr indicated that she was positively surprised by the size of the port and the high level of activity - the Port of Hirtshals is Denmark's 6th largest port. According to the transport minister, the ports' today face the challenge of competing for the same business areas, and especially the small ports want to have it all. The transport minister was positive about the development of the port's hinterland infrastructure and about the perspectives for both the local area and Northern Jutland.

Pia Olsen Dyhr stated about the development of the infrastructure:
- All ports in Denmark wish to develop the infrastructure, but the investments of the state must be within the frames, which can be found in the state's ?port package' and hopefully also in the Train Foundation. It is important that the state responds positively to the development, which is well under way around the country. Simultaneously, it is important to invest without creating distortion of competition and with the necessary local involvement.

In proportion to the strain on the hinterland infrastructure, the Port of Hirtshals has over the last four years experienced a significant increase in the cargo volume moving through the port. At the beginning of 2014, the shipping company Fjord Line puts into service the last of two new cruise ferries, and the shipping company expects this will increase the traffic through the port further. However, the positive development in the cargo volume has also placed a strain on the traffic management at and around the port. Therefore, the port is now working on an extensive expansion of the port area, which also includes a new bypass road.

Several operators from the port also took part in the meeting, and especially representatives from the shipping companies Color Line and Fjord Line emphasized the importance of the hinterland infrastructure matching the increasing cargo volume. Totally, Color Line and Fjord Line has since 2008 invested more than ? 535 billion in new ships, and when Fjord Line's last cruise ferry is put into service in 2014, it is expected that Fjord Line will form the basis for 800 work places in the local area and Northern Jutland.