Focus on the spearhead projects
The Port of Helsinki has been the busiest international passenger port in Europe for three years in a row. The amount of cargo traffic nearly reached last year’s record-breaking level. Even though the growth of the national economy has slowed down, the year of the port in Finland’s lively capital city was busy and full of work. For this, we owe a thank you to both our own staff and all our partners, who have worked so hard together with us.
More than 12 million ship passengers travelled through the Port of Helsinki, and the passenger numbers of international cruise trafficin particular took a positive turn. We reached the previous year’s level in unitized cargo traffic, and container traffic continued strongly. The major changes took place with bulk traffic, where decreasing coal transport reflects the growing popularity of new energy production forms.
Our vision is to be the most functional port in the world. This challenging goal drives us forward and, together with our partners, we have determinedly moved forward with the most important spearhead projects identified in our strategy, both in passenger and cargo traffic.
While developing the Port’s infrastructure we are also strongly steering our operations towards the service business. During the year, we have gained a much deeper understanding of how the passengers think, and this is an excellent starting point for developing a seamless passenger experience.
In addition to our corporate customers and passengers, we also want to be a good partner to local residents; the cargo traffic going through the harbours serves also them. The traffic arrangements in Helsinki and the Port’s role in the traffic challenges in Jätkäsaari provoked plenty of discussion in 2019, also in public. In 2020, we will carry out reviews to form an overall view of the different alternatives that would enable us to arrange port operations in a sustainable way while also supporting the whole city. Traffic solutions, costs and both direct and multiplier effects on our company and the City of Helsinki need to all be taken into account when making decisions. The investments in our field are massive and require predictability for decades to come.
One of our central projects in 2019 was to determine our sustainable development goals. The carbon-neutrality of the Port of Helsinki’s own operations and decreasing the port area’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30% by 2035 were highlighted as the most significant objectives.
Responsible operations set obligations
We want to be successful in the long run, too, and our success will not be based on basic-level performance but on being the forerunners of sustainable development. At the same time, we will encourage all port operators to join us in making significant emissions cuts.
Ville Haapasaari, CEO