Freight transport over the Port of Hirtshals defies corona crisis

During the first four months of 2020, the Port of Hirtshals has increased its turnover by 0.4% in freight traffic compared to the same period last year. Thereby, the development at the Port of Hirtshals defies the general tendency to slowdown and decline in the transport market.

While many are marked by the corona crisis, this is not the case for the freight traffic over the port in Hirtshals. Particularly noteworthy is that the freight traffic on a few routes show growth rates over 5%. For the port that characterises itself as Scandinavia's transport hub this must be considered as satisfactory.

Ro/ro traffic constitutes the majority of the freight transport at the Port of Hirtshals

Within the ro/ro traffic which constitutes the majority of the freight transport over the port, there can also be noted positive results. Over the first four months of the year, the ro/ro traffic - lorries and trailers - maintained the level from the same period of 2019 with a minimum deviation of just over 50 units. A deviation that is to be seen in relation to a total traffic around 37,000 units.

Smyril Line's Hvítanes has weekly departures from Hirtshals

Due to the border closures in e.g. Norway, Germany and Denmark, there has been no car or passenger traffic over the Port of Hirtshals since mid-March. The ferry companies have thereby been able to use the car deck for lorries and trailers instead. This has meant that the freight traffic over the corridors in Hirtshals has consolidated even further during the corona crisis.

- Although the port has experienced growth in freight traffic for almost 10 years, we can only interpret the development of the last few months as an indication that the freight volumes increase when the capacity is present on the routes out of Hirtshals. This clearly shows that there is more potential to be gained. At the same time, we must see the development as evidence that the transport sector wants to utilise the direct corridors that we have right here in Hirtshals, says Jens Kirketerp Jensen, managing director at the Port of Hirtshals.

Traffic in the port bassin at the Port of Hirtshals

The utilisation of the additional capacity during the last four months combined with a decade of growth shows that the transport sector sees opportunities in taking advantage of the transport solutions in Hirtshals. One of the main reasons for using the ferry routes over Hirtshals appears to be the direct sea transport between the European continent and the largest Norwegian cities. In this way, carriers can avoid road transport in connection with distributing goods in Norway.

In addition, the Port of Hirtshals expects that the corridors over Hirtshals will get a climatic boost in 2021, as it will be possible to use multimodal transport solutions when the freight railway opens for traffic.