The Port of Gothenburg has launched an "Empty Container Initiative" campaign in order to support container storage during the holiday season, from December lasting through to January.

The major Swedish box port is suffering a deficit of empty boxes for export cargo, while at the same time Purchasing Managers Index (PMI*) account that Swedish exports are booming.

Jacob Minnhagen, senior market development manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

“Right now, our export customers are experiencing a deficit of empty containers for their export cargo,” highlighted Jacob Minnhagen, senior market development manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

Although the container balance at the port of Gothenburg, which handles more than 50% of the total Swedish box traffic, is almost 50-50 between imports and exports and as a result, the port presents fast container turnaround times, the degree of changes and unpredictability, caused by Covid-19 pandemic, has led to disruptions and imbalances in the transport system.

To maintain the supply of empty containers for Swedish export customers, the Port of Gothenburg community including Railport partners is now offering special conditions and services like storage, inspection and handling of empty containers. The possibilities vary depending on the prerequisites of the partner involved, said the port in its announcement.

“This is a unique measure that we have been able to put together very quickly, within the last couple of days. We have had an amazing response from the involved partners, and we are delighted that they are able to act swiftly, firmly and in a collaborative fashion,” commented Minnhagen.

At the first wave of the coronavirus crisis this spring, the Port of Gothenburg said that it along with its Railport partners offered inland storage of imported goods to mitigate a temporary supply/demand imbalance.

“We were able to act quickly to help Swedish industry averting the acute effects of that situation which was very appreciated,” noted Minnhagen.

The companies which are participating in the "Empty Container Initiative" campaign are Gothenburg Roro Terminal (Gothenburg), Jula Logistics AB (Falköping), Logent, (Gothenburg), Logent (Hallsberg), Lundby Container Service (Gothenburg), M4 (Eskilstuna), Medlog Gothenburg AB (Gothenburg), M.C.R. – Mobile Container Repair AB (Gothenburg), PGF AB (Vaggeryd), TRANSAB (Nässjö) and Vänerexpressen AB (Insjön/Karlstad).