The Port of Kiel has gained container wayport status by being added to the liner service network of Gothenburg-based shipping company TransAtlantic. With immediate effect, ships serving on the company’s Bothnia Line between Kerni/Oulu in Finland and Zeebrugge/Antwerp in Belgium are making a weekly stop in Kiel. Container part loads destined for overseas destinations via Hamburg are now being unloaded in the Ostuferhafen. Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said “we are profiting here from our location on the Kiel Canal
. Our wayport function is a good example of co-operation between Kiel and Hamburg because it means that Finnish cargo can continue to be handled by north German seaports”. Containers unloaded for TransAtlantic are transported from Kiel by shuttle train to Hamburg terminals and loaded there for overseas destinations.
The first Bothnia Line ship, the 179 m RoLo vessel “Transpine” of 20,850 GT, arrived at the Ostuferhafen on the morning of January 30th. Inside three hours, more than 100 containers were offloaded by two cranes. Manfred Schröder, owner of the ship broker’s firm of the same name and the agent responsible for the handling of the TransAtlantic ships
in Kiel, said “we are very satisfied with the performance. The work carried out in the Port of Kiel was fast and reliable”. The containers offloaded in Kiel carry Finnish timber products for a range of destinations overseas. The “Transpine” continued her journey via the Kiel Canal to Antwerp before the morning was out while the discharged containers were re-loaded on to the railway for on-transport to Hamburg. Next week, sister ship “Transwood” is also expected to call in Kiel.
The SEEHAFEN KIEL operates Kiel’s commercial port on behalf of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital, of which it is a 100% subsidiary. The Ostuferhafen is Kiel’s logistics centre and its hub for trade with countries bordering the eastern Baltic. Two high-capacity cranes and a direct rail link are available at the Ostuferhafen’s Berth 1. Last year more than 28,000 TEUs were loaded or unloaded in the port. “The container will continue to grow in importance in Kiel”, said Dirk Claus
. “We want to exploit our unique location at the entrance to the Kiel Canal in order to establish a long-term role for us as a wayport”, he added. In so doing, Kiel also intends to strengthen its close co-operation with Hamburg and with the personnel of Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V.