MARKET. ANALYSIS. PROGNOSES. Lithuania strengthens positions in the transport sector

 

According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport and Communications, the results of the first half of the year show a successful growth of the country’s transport sector.
‘The tendencies are optimistic – Lithuanian transport companies do increasingly better in establishing their positions in the EU and CIS markets showing advanced activity and long-term strategies. State companies – Lithuanian railways, airports and Klaipėda seaport – show rapidly growing results as well, and these are one of the best achievements in the Baltic States,’ says Rokas Masiulis, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania.
In the first quarter alone, the exports of Lithuanian transport services increased by 19.7 per cent, compared to the same period in 2017. The exports to all major markets for the country’s transport services continued to show growth: Germany – 34 per cent, Russia – 16 per cent, France – 18 per cent, Denmark – 7.3 per cent, Belarus – 57 per cent. The exports of these services increased to other European countries as well: United Kingdom – 27 per cent, Austria – 26 per cent, the Netherlands – 25 per cent.
Comparing these results with that of the first half of the previous year, preliminary calculations show that the volumes of freight forwarding by land increased by 15.4 per cent (up to 73.3 million tonnes), featuring 18 per cent (46.1 million tonnes) by roads and 11.1 per cent (27.2 million tonnes) by rail.
Strengthening positions of the Lithuanian freight forwarders by road are signified by the procurement of new cargo transport vehicles, which, according to ACEA data, is the fastest-growing in the entire European Union with Hungary taking the second place. This year the improvement of road infrastructure has been allocated 440.6 million Euros of the funds from the Road Maintenance and Development Programme, 63.1 million Euro should also come from the EU funds. The largest investment projects currently implemented include the modernisation of Via Baltica highway, reconstruction of other major and regional roads, the overhead in the road Šilutė-Rusnė, as well as gravel road paving works.

Rail Baltica and electrification on the way

Compared to the first half of 2017, the amount of passengers taking the railway in January-June this year increased by 5.5 per cent, and the amounts of freights – by 11.1 per cent. The volumes of transit freight increase as well: through Klaipėda – 12 per cent, to Kaliningrad Oblast – 31 per cent. In the future the volumes of freight should be boosted by long-term agreements that the Lithuanian Railways has signed with the Polish PKP Cargo, regarding freight forwarding to Białystok and Ełk, with the Belarusian companies Belaruskalij and Grodno-Azot regarding transportation of chemical and mineral fertilisers, as well as with AB Akmenės Cementas, which uses the railway to carry approximately 1 million tonnes of its production. This year this company had a concrete handling terminal, built at the port of Klaipėda, with hopes for increasing volumes of cement exports through the port.
The state company, which manages Lithuanian Railways is planning a significant increase of investments in the near future. According to the approved long-term strategy, the portfolio of investments into infrastructure should exceed 5 billion Euro by 2030. The value of infrastructural procurements, announced this year alone, exceeds 0.5 billion Euro.
The majority of the funds will be allocated for the Rail Baltica, also the electrification of the railway line to Klaipėda and other works.

407 million Euro of investments at the port – a significant boost for growth

During the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2017, the handling volumes at the state port of Klaipėda and Būtingė terminal increased by 6.7 per cent (to 26.7 t). The amount of cargo handled at the port of Klaipėda was 22.2 million to (7.6 per cent more) and in Būtingė terminal – 4.5 million t (2.4 per cent more). The results at the port of Klaipėda were mostly influenced by record-breaking container handling volumes, which increased by 40.2 per cent. These results are far ahead of the nearest Baltic ports – Riga, Tallinn and Kaliningrad, where the container growth during the same period reached 4-8 per cent.
In 2018-2021 Klaipėda State Seaport Authority is planning to make 407 million Euro investments, where more than 70 per cent (293 million Euro) are planned for the construction and reconstruction of quays and piers, 18 per cent (73 million Euro) – port and quay dredging works. According to the long-term port activity indices, investments into the port’s infrastructure are the major reason for the growth of cargo flows. For example, in 2001-2017 the fixed assets of the Seaport Authority have grown by 2.5 times, creating conditions for appropriate increase in the handling results from 17.2 million tonnes in 2001 to 43.17 million tonnes in 2017. Having completed the planned investment projects, the Seaport Authority is planning to achieve 100 million tonnes before 2040.

Airports improve infrastructure

In the period of January-June this year Lithuanian airports saw an increase in the numbers of passengers and freight serviced, compared to the same period in 2017. The most achievement is attributed to Vilnius Airport. The passenger flows at Lithuanian airports increased by 15.5 per cent (to 2.95 million), with the best results – an increase of 16.6 per cent or 2.33 million passengers) – achieved at Vilnius Airport. The amount of cargo, brought to Lithuania by air, increased by 16.3 per cent with the largest growth – 18 per cent – achieved at Vilnius Airport as well.
Rapid growth of investments is expected by the state company, managing the Lithuanian international airports as well. According to the company’s data, the investments made into the country’s airports in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga in 2016–2017 were 31.5 million Euro and the investments planned for 2018–2020 should reach 85.8 million Euro. Some of the largest-scale works include the construction of a multi-storey parking lot at Vilnius Airport, the reconstruction of the platform and the runway in Palanga Airport, as well as the reconstruction of the departure terminal of Vilnius Airport.

Information of JŪRA MOPE SEA and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania

 

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

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