Despite challenges in the cargo transportation sector – the Covid 19 crisis and the sharp decline in Russian transit cargo, many stevedoring companies in the port of Riga will finish the year with positive indicators and an increase in cargo turnover. According to the operational data of the Freeport of Riga Authority, currently 19 of the 33 port cargo terminals have handled more sea cargo than last year and the cargo turnover at 4 terminals has remained practically unchanged.
One of the biggest increases in cargo volumes this year has been experienced by the company “Extron Baltic”. During 11 months, the terminal handled 544.1 thousand tons of cargo, up by 16.7% YoY and the said volume is exceeding the total amount for 2019. Therefore, it can be expected that the company will close 2020 with a significant increase in cargo turnover.
The company “Extron Baltic” has been constantly increasing handled cargo volumes since 2010. From a small stevedoring company, it has now grown into a major port business player and is quite close to the port’s top 10 cargo terminals. The main types of cargo handled by the company are metals, grain and timber.
“The company’s success story is based on what we can call sustainability. The operational strategy, set out more than five years ago, was focused on developing the local cargo handling. “Extron Baltic” berths with a small draft are not suitable for accommodating large vessels, therefore cargo transportation by smaller vessels was chosen as the most promising operational model. This approach of not so fast but persistent growth has paid off today,” said Valdis Andersons, Chairman of the “Extron Baltic” Board.
“This year’s specific trend at our terminal, as at all other port terminals, which handle timber cargo, is a significant growth in the lumber segment. This trend is clearly related to the Brexit process and customers’ desire to send as much lumber as possible to the UK before Brexit starts on January 1, 2021,” commented Andersons.
“Extron Baltic” is the largest general metal cargo handler in the port of Riga. The company handles 98% of all general cargo of metal products in the port. Metal is the product that is not dispatched from Riga, but is imported. The metal cargo arrives at the terminal from large metal processing companies in Russia and then travels by road to customers in Latvia and the nearby region.
“Our advantage in the metal cargo market is the extensive terminal area, which is well suited for these cargoes. In the past, there was a concrete structure producing plant, the infrastructure of which – cranes and large warehouses – proved to be excellent background for handling metal products. Therefore we can be very efficient in this segment,” added Andersons.
Besides, there is a metal-processing company operating on the terminal’s territory, which processes the metal transported by sea and produces large-scale metal structures, which in turn are delivered to the consumers by ships. This type of production in the port area creates a synergy effect – it offers the production company favorable logistics conditions for raw materials and finished products, as well as ensures a stable cargo turnover for the port terminal in the long run. That is why this type of high value-added production in the port of Riga is especially encouraged and supported. (PortNews/Business World Magazine)