The owners of the respective harbours, municipalities of Umeå and Vaasa, have agreed to set up a joint company, Kvarkenhamnar AB.
The new entity with head office in Umeå will take over port management from the Swedish and Finnish local governments as from the 1st of January, 2015. Kvarkenhamnar AB will be owned 50/50 by the founders who will contribute with ca. EUR 1.65 mln each to the share capital.
The ports' current staff will be employed in the new company. Kvarkenhamnar's board of directors will be equally split between Umeå and Vaasa. In the case when the board's president will come from Sweden, the company's CEO will be from Finland, and vice versa. The new entity will focus on port authority functions and complementary services such as warehousing and passenger services since the Wasaline ferry company, offering a ro-pax route between the two ports, has been also established by the municipalities.
One port authority makes it possible for smaller harbours to achieve economies of scales, streamline administrative works, coordinate marketing and development activities, more effectively work together concerning environmental issues as well as specialize each port to cut unnecessary double investments in order to increase both ports' competitiveness.
The port merger trend in the Baltic Sea region is quite strong, the last year's event of Halmstad and Varberg becoming one Port of Halland is the latest example, apart from other similar undertakings in the past such as Ports of Stockholm, Copenhagen Malmö Port, HaminaKotka, Mälarhamnar or ports around the Lake Vänern.