Unity is key to successful green transport corridors

Germany and Sweden have together made considerable advancements in establishing a green shipping and logistics corridor between Kiel and Gothenburg, participants at a recent port event in Gothenburg said.

Port of Hamburg

A functioning, more environmentally friendly supply chain requires all players to actively participate in the transition to sustainable transportation. How such a chain can be successfully implemented was demonstrated by the Port of Gothenburg, Stena Line, the Port of Kiel and the Port of Hamburg as organizers at the conference entitled “Green transport corridors – linking Europe and Scandinavia” on November 22.

“The shipping industry is currently under considerable pressure to accelerate the process of decarbonization. However, it cannot achieve this transformation single-handedly. The efforts towards decarbonization must unite the broader industry, involving ports, shippers, carriers, manufacturers, investors, energy suppliers, and policymakers,” Marina Basso Michael, Regional Director Europe at Port of Hamburg Marketing, pointed out.

“The example of Stena Line, on the “Gothenburg-Kiel” route, shows what is already possible,” she added.

For 55 years, Stena Line and its ferries have formed the backbone of Swedish-German trade on the Kiel-Gothenburg route.

“Every maritime link is just as strong as the cooperation between all parties, which is why we put a lot of efforts in finding the right solution for each individual demand – be it accompanied or unaccompanied cargo, project load or intermodal solutions. Efficiency and reliability are key in all transport plannings. On Kiel-Göteborg, our customers benefit from a daily frequency, allowing them to send their cargo over night from Northern Germany to Western Sweden and beyond,” Katrin Verner, Stena Line Freight Commercial Manager, said.

Stena Line is not only testing new alternative fuels such as methanol on this route with the Stena Germanica but it is also using shore power, which is available in both ports, for a long time.

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The shipping company receives great support from the two ports of Gothenburg and Kiel. The ships on the line have been able to use shore power here for years. At the same time, the port of Gothenburg is used to bunker the methanol.

“We highly appreciate the ambitious steps that Stena Line has taken when it comes to paving the way for amongst others onshore power supply which has been in use for the last twenty years and ship to ship bunkering of methanol,” Göran Eriksson, CEO at the Port of Gothenburg, noted.

“Germany is among Sweden’s largest trading partners and through the long term cooperation that has been in place between Stena Line, the Port of Kiel, the Port of Hamburg and the Port of Gothenburg, we have been able to deliver competitive and sustainable logistical solutions for the industry.”

Dirk Claus, Managing Director at Port of Kiel, also confirms that a close and cooperative exchange is the foundation of the German-Swedish success story between Kiel and Gothenburg.

“We are pleased to be working with our Scandinavian partners on the future of this special transport and logistics route in order to make it even more environmentally friendly, digital and future-proof at all levels,” Claus emphasized.

This also makes Port of Kiel one of the pioneers in shore-side power supply for ships. The port now has one of the most extensive shore power systems in Europe, which can supply up to six seagoing vessels in parallel.

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The port aims to be climate-neutral by 2030. However, it is not only ports and shipping companies that are needed for a green supply chain; other logistics service providers such as rail and freight forwarders are also making their contribution, as Axel Mattern, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, stressed during the panel discussion.

This is why it is so important to bring all players to the table, added Björn Garberg, National Coordinator for Inland and Short Sea Shipping at the Swedish Ministry of Transport.

“We need to accelerate the green transition in the maritime industry. All stakeholders must work together and act in a coordinated manner to solve critical issues such as infrastructure maintenance and development,” Garberg concluded.