The freight volume in trade between Helsinki and Tallinn is growing fast, and shipping lines are increasing the capacity of regular routes before Estonia's expected accession to the European Union, the Finnish business daily Kauppalehti reported.
In mid-August, Viking Line will transfer the Rosella from the Aland Islands-Stockholm route to the Helsinki-Tallinn route and will start making two return crossings a day. The Cinderella, which has a lower freight carriage capacity, will later be transferred to cover the Swedish traffic.
Silja Line's subsidiary SeaWind Line came on the route at the end of last year and Tallink's Meloodia is making two round trips a day due to increased freight carriage. The freight carriage capacity has considerably increased since last summer, the paper wrote.
The freight carriage volume between Helsinki and Tallinn has increased at the rate of 10 - 20 percent a year, and is expected to continue at the same pace.
Viking Line marketing manager Boris Ekman said clients have had to accept freight carriage schedules that are not suitable to them due to the shortage of capacity.
"Freight carriage capacity will certainly have to be added. This will happen either early in 2004, for which we have plans or, in my opinion, later during 2004," Tallink managing director Keijo Mehtonen said.
The volume of freight carriage will also increase as a result of faster shipment transfers when border formalities between the Baltic countries are simplified after accession to the EU.