In 2023, 8 million passengers and 13 million tonnes of cargo passed through the harbours of Port of Tallinn. The annual number of passengers increased by 13%, or 900,000 passengers, recovering from the movement restrictions related to the pandemic. Compared to last year, the cargo volume decreased by 29%, or 5 million tonnes, due to the implementation of sanctions on Russian and Belarussian cargo and general economic downturn. The number of vessel calls was relatively stable, decreasing by only 1.5% to 7,026 visits. The number of passengers between the Estonian mainland and the main islands increased by 5% reaching an all-time record. The number of charter days of the icebreaker Botnica decreased by 4% due to the shorter period of summer charters.
According to Valdo Kalm, chairman of the management board of Port of Tallinn, the steady recovery of the passenger business continues at the expected pace. “Thanks to the increase in the number of passengers, today we have two additional departures per day to Finland compared to the end of last year, which has a definite positive effect on our revenue base. The number of cruise ship calls decreased, but as the occupancy rate of cruise ships improved significantly, the volume of cruise passengers was almost at the same level as last year. Most of the decrease in cargo volume continues to be related to the decrease in cargo of Russian origin, mainly in liquid bulk. In 2022, the sanctions were applied gradually during the year until December, and thus there are still goods of Russian origin in the comparison period. The main reason for the decrease in other cargo types is the general economic situation of both Estonia and our main trading partners,” said Kalm.
In 2023, people travelled to the Estonian islands with the ferries more than ever, i.e. the number of trips, passengers and transported vehicles increased. The decrease in utilization rate of the icebreaker Botnica was due to the shorter charter period of the Baffinland project, so Botnica participated in three different shorter summer work projects, serving Equinor in June, British Petroleum in August, and moving to the usual Baffinland charter in northern Canada in early September.
The operational volumes of Port of Tallinn group for 2023 by quarters and 12 months are presented HERE.