During the last few years, cargo volumes, trailers in particular, have grown substantially on the Uusikaupunki–Travemünde route.
The increase in car production at Valmet Automotive’s manufacturing plant in Uusikaupunki has brought the need for new transportation solutions and all parties involved in the transport chain have made major investments.
Finnlines early response was to lengthen four (later all six) of its Breeze series ro-ro vessels and increase the vessels’ cargo carrying capacity by 30%. Two of the lengthened vessels have been deployed on the Uusikaupunki–Travemünde route. In addition, two smaller vessels take turns to serve the customers once a week. Thus, Finnlines flag calls Uusikaupunki six times a week, offering nearly 23,000 lane metres for rolling cargo, a significant increase over the last five years.
The Port of Uusikaupunki has contributed to the project by lengthening its ro-ro berth by 30 metres to fit Finnlines lengthened vessels. “Cargo volumes have grown and it’s great to now have a modern port up and running. The investments enable us to create the prerequisites for further development. We are ready to meet future volumes and larger vessels”, says Esa Soini, Managing Director, Port of Uusikaupunki.
In spite of the increase in cargo volumes, the turnaround time in port must not be much longer. For that purpose Finnlines has focused on developing innovative port services solutions in Uusikaupunki and Travemünde and has invested in new cargo equipment. These ambitious efforts should improve stevedoring safety at work and reduce stopover hours.
“Growing with customers is one of the key elements of our strategy. This is the next step. First, we invested in our fleet and now we will further develop our operations. Our focus is now on cargo handling and port operations. We can ensure our service is easy and cost-efficient. Safety is another important aspect. In Finnlines, we make continuous efforts to offer safe, reliable and environmentally friendly services to our customers,” says Thomas Doepel, Head of Group Purchasing, Finnlines.
The two stevedoring companies in Germany and Finland, LHG and Stevena, have also actively participated in these actions. Stevena has invested in several new tugmasters, and stevedores will be trained for new working routines. “We will focus on the further improvement of our equipment, services and IT tools, as well as on training our personnel and making them multi-skilled. This will create new opportunities and foster more efficient working partnerships,” says Markku Mäkipere, CEO of Stevena.