RIGA – The Riga Freeport in the first five months of this year reloaded 14.88 million tons of cargo, which is by 4 percent lower than in the respective period last year, the port reported.
"Despite the reduction of cargo, after the very successful start of the year, cargo turnover at the Riga port in the first five months of this year exceed the target," the Riga Freeport Administration reported.
Bulk cargos accounted for 9.246 million tons of Riga port’s five-month cargo turnover, up 4.5 percent against the first five months of 2016. Handling of liquid cargos fell 30.3 percent to 2.88 million tons, and reloading of general cargos increased by 8.7 percent to 2.753 million tons.
According to the port’s information, coal dominated the structure of cargos reloaded in the Freeport of Riga in the five months of this year. Reloading of coal increased 10.4 percent year-on-year to 5.532 million tons, or 37.2 percent of all cargos.
"Our forecasts about the turnover of coal cargos early this year were cautious because their flow directly depends on Russia’s decisions on cargo transit through Latvian ports. The five-month results in the coal segment demonstrate how fluctuating and unstable is energy resources cargo flow from Russia. We have to do everything possible to look for alternatives in cooperation with other transport sector players," said Riga Freeport deputy administrator Martings Ziemanis.
Oil products made up 19.1 percent of all cargos handled in the port in the five-month period, followed by container cargos with 11.7 percent, timber with 7.8 percent and chemical cargos with 7.2 percent.
Freeport of Riga said that the turnover of general cargos grew primarily thanks to an increased amount of container cargos. During the first five months of this year, the number of TEUs shipped through the port rose 13 percent year-on-year to 174,600. All three Riga-based stevedores handling container cargos – Baltic Container Terminal, Rigas Universalais Terminalis and Rigas Centralais Terminals – saw their cargo turnover grow in the five months of 2017. „This is a positive trend, thinking about alternative cargo flows,” the Riga port said.
In may this year Riga Freeport reloaded 2.655 million tons of cargo, including 1.528 million tons of bulk cargos, 553,000 tons of general cargos, and 574,100 tons of liquid cargos.
In the first five months of 2016, the Freeport of Riga handled 15.506 million tons, and annual cargo turnover last year was 37.07 million tons, down 5.5 percent from 2015.
Riga is the largest Latvian port in terms of both cargo turnover and passengers.