CARGO HANDLING. KLASCO’s Experience Earns Client Trust


Vida Bortelienė

Klaipėda’s seniors say that the port’s landscape is missing ships as two decades ago the port was full of them, often spending weeks at berths. And now, if you notice some sea giant while taking a ferry over the lagoon, enjoy the view while you can, because tomorrow it will be gone! A paradox – the port looks half-empty and the number of ships coming to the port is shrinking, but Klaipėda is still known for the fastest-growing handling levels in the region. Modernisation of the port of Klaipėda hastened the pace and productivity of cargo handling.

AB Klaipėdos jūrų krovinių kompanija (Klaipėda Stevedoring Company – KLASCO) remains in the lead of the port’s cargo handling and business community for already third decade. The company’s stability and high results earn various business awards every year and recently it was awarded by the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists as a “Successfully Working Enterprise of 2017”.

Head of the company Audrius Pauža noticed that continuous changes of the port’s parameters that follow the global shipping trends have created a development system that may be difficult to divide into stages. People simply see a changing landscape of the port becoming more beautiful, increasing its capacity and accepting larger and larger ships.

Although the numbers of internal competitors in various fields keep increasing, KLASCO is also strengthening its capacity and turnover. Head of the company Audrius Pauža states that constant changes of the port’s depth and hydrotechnical infrastructure that follow the global shipping tendencies create similar conditions for everyone thus merging them into a united development system that may be difficult to distinguish for observers outside. Clients notice the whole picture, such as handling capacity and vessel throughput, as well thus berth length and the size of the cargo handling lots become not as important. When technical and technological differences between companies shrink to unnoticeable, companies’ individual characteristics and expert competencies become the major criteria for competition.

In 2017 KLASCO handled 13.5 million tonnes of cargo, which is 700 thousand tonnes (+6 per cent) more than in 2016. The most popular cargo include bulk fertilisers, metallurgical raw materials, grain and bulk agricultural produce, liquid fertilisers, as well as ro-ro equipment.

According to Mr Pauža, based on the volumes of investments, 2017 was a moderate year, featuring the completion of one development stage and preparations for the next one. 2 million Euros were invested into new technical and technological hardware, as well as renewal of electrical equipment and modernisation of the gate control system, which is now linked to cargo weighing. This helped to increase the throughput of grain vehicles and reduced the amount of trucks at the parking lot near the entrance to the port.

However, KLASCO is up to new challenges, which will come, when the Seaport Authority deepens the shipping channel to 17 metres. The huge warehouses, built on the berth in the northern part of the port will enable to accumulate additional amounts of cargo and fast loading of even larger ships. However, the southern KLASCO complex – the Ferry Terminal on Smeltė peninsula – is also awaiting new investments. In 2017 the handling of DFDS ferries was transferred to a new terminal, thus vacating approximately 50 ha of KLASCO’s territory. It should be completely transformed in the next five years. A handling complex, consisting of 3-5 separate multi modal terminals could handle up to 6 million tonnes of cargo every year.

KLASCO also owns KLASCO Towage Assistance towing company. It has 3 latest and most powerful towboats at the port of Klaipėda. The modern fleet is capable of providing mooring assistance to the largest of ships at the port.

“The value of goods handled every year is almost six billion Euros. Cargo owners are inclined to entrust their valuables only to professional companies. That is a difficult, but also pleasant responsibility. You could say that the key to success is the long years of diverse professional experience and attention to the client’s needs. Both the port and its individual handling companies are like a living organism, which relies on constant renewal. A consistent investment program enables KLASCO to keep its leading positions not only at the port of Klaipėda, but the entire region.” says Mr Pauža. Based on the results of 2017, KLASCO’s share at the port of Klaipėda constituted 32 per cent and maintaining the market share of such scale is much more difficult than rising as a smaller company. KLASCO’s major partners are Lithuanian industrial companies and grain exporters, Belarusian manufacturers and traders, but the company is building relations with clients from further markets as well.


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Ltd. Juru informacijos centras

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

ISSN 1392-7825

2017 ©