Five per cent growth year on year (y/y) saw a record 1.45 million people pass through Port of Helsinki’s passenger terminals in the peak month of July.
Fittingly 1.1 million of those travelled on the Helsinki-Tallinn (Hel-Tan) route, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of its re-introduction on the July 7, which was a 6.8% rise y/y. There are 20 daily departures during the summer between the two Baltic capitals, which are just 80 km apart. The average voyage lasted two to two-and-a-half hours.
As well, Helsinki hosted 73 cruise calls, bringing over 120,000 day visitors to the Finnish capital, representing an increase of 11.2% over July 2014.
Estonian ferry operator Tallink Silja Line announced its own Hel-Tal record by carrying nearly 600,000, easily beating the previous best of 560,000, and total of 1.1 million on all its routes. At just over 150,000, vehicles also set a new monthly mark.
Åland-based ferry company Viking Line was another to report a new monthly high of 945,343 passengers (up 6% y/y) carried on all its routes.
Cargo throughput at Helsinki was mixed, although overall growth of 3.9% to 862,000 tonnes was welcome due to Finland’s stagnant economy. Hope was found in exports that were nearly 10% up (to 462,000 tonnes), but imports shrank again by 2% to 400,000 tonnes exactly.
Port of Helsinki CEO Kimmo Mäki told IHS Maritime, “The progress has been excellent – especially concerning the Tallinn passenger traffic and export of cargo. The main reasons for the passenger traffic increases are the new services that shipping lines have been providing and the growing tourist visits to Estonia, especially during the summer season. In addition, the (economic) integration of Finland and the Baltic countries is behind this success.
“The growth in export traffic is mainly down to Port of Helsinki’s improved market share, especially in Finnish forest industry exports, but is also for other industries too,” Mäki said.