Geopolitical situation affects Latvian sea ports – operational results turn out below last year’s levels

Latvian Ministry of Transport reports that, according to available data, the volume of freight handled by Latvian sea ports fell in the first half of 2023. At the same time, turnover went up in several freight segments. Domestic railway transports are up as well.
Sea port and railway freight transport operations remain affected by the ongoing geopolitical situation and sanctions on Russian petrol products.
Because of the influence from the geopolitical situation in the first half of 2023,

the overall volume of freight handled by Latvian sea ports is down 14.2% or 3.4 million tonnes when compared with the same period of 2022.

The changes in freight volumes mainly come from the continuously reducing demand for coal. International sanctions also affect turnover of petrol products.
At the same time, there is also a 7.4% increase in grain freight turnover at Latvia’s biggest sea ports. Freight turnover is up at Latvia’s smaller sea ports as well: Skulte, Salacgrīva, Mērsraga and Roja. There freight volumes are up 17.4%.
Riga Sea Port saw a 20% increase in grain turnover. Coal and petrol product freight volumes went down, however. The sea port handled 9.6 million tonnes of freight.
Liepaja Sea Port’s total freight turnover was 3.6 million tonnes in the first six months of 2023. Turnover of wood chip freight went up by 7.7%. Ro-Ro freight volume remained stable. Turnover of container freight went down considerably.
Ventspils Sea Port saw a turnover of 5.7 million tonnes of freight in the same period of time. Overall freight turnover was affected by the drop in coal, petrol product and Ro-Ro freight volumes.

Despite the general drop of freight turnover, the sea port did quadruple the volume of ore freight.

The volume of lumber freight handled by the sea port went up by 3.6%. Turnover of construction materials has increased tenfold.
Similarly to sea ports, railway freight turnover is affected by the geopolitical situation: the overall freight turnover in the first six months of 2023 went down by 36.7% when compared with the same period of 2022. The drop of freight transports was mainly caused by the drop in stone coal, mineral fertilisers, lumber and petrol product groups. Turnover of grain freight is up 18.3%.
Growth is observed for domestic railway freight, which went up by 10% in the first six months. In the black metals segment the growth was 67%.
The transport and logistics industry actively works to attract new freight and promote the growth of volumes, alternative logistics corridors are created. This includes corridors for various niche products, especially with high added value, such as container and Ro-Ro freight, Latvian ministry reports.
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