The port of this month is Copenhagen Malmö Port, which includes two ports in two different countries (Denmark and Sweden). This is a story about a unique cross-border alliance. For the first time in history, two ports in two different countries have joined all their port operations into one company, one organisation and one legal entity. As from 6th October, Copenhagen Malmö Port will host the Greenport Cruise (6 October) and the Greenport Congress (7-9 October) in its premises.
ESPO: Can you briefly tell us about the Port of Copenhagen Malmö? What are its main characteristics and challenges?
CMP: The Port of Copenhagen Malmö (CMP) is a port and terminal operator located in two facilities in the Greater Copenhagen Region, situated in the small strait between Denmark and Sweden at the entrance to the Baltic Sea. As port authority and operator, we are responsible for the commercial activities in the Port of Malmö as well as the Port of Copenhagen.
CMP is a full service port, but our main activities cover oil and dry bulk, new cars handling, cruise, ro-ro and containers. We also have some warehousing activities and we have facilities for combined transport, which are mainly used for transport of new cars, trailers and bulk products. CMP operates in a 500 ha area. We do not own the land, but we have a 25 years lease agreement with the port owners.
CMP is a Core Port in both Malmö and Copenhagen and we are part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor.
ESPO: The Port of Copenhagen Malmö is quite unique in Europe, since there is a strong transnational cooperation between the Port of Copenhagen and the Port of Malmö. What were the motives for this cooperation? What benefits did this cooperation bring to both ports?
CMP: In 2000, the first fixed connection between Sweden and Denmark was inaugurated and open for traffic. A few years before this, the ports of the two countries met and decided to cooperate instead of competing each other.
The benefits mainly reside in two areas. First of all, customers can develop their activities in one or both ports, but they only have to make a business agreement with one port administration. Secondly, we can concentrate our main administrative organization in one location and thus save administrative costs. Furthermore, the workshops and the administration could benefit from each other’s experiences.
CMP is well-known way beyond our natural sphere of interest thanks to this special set-up with one port in two countries.
ESPO: The Port of Copenhagen Malmö is a hub for the import and handling of new cars in the Baltic Sea Region. How is the business evolving? What are the main challenges?
CMP: CMP is the largest hub for import and transshipment of new cars in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea area including Russia. The nearest hub is Zeebrugge and to less extent Bremerhaven. CMP handles 15 different car brands. The financial crises in 2008/09 and the Japanese tsunami had a strong impact on the car distribution in our region, but we have regained a level of around 400,000 car handlings from deep-sea ships and from feeder ships. A significant part of the transshipment is carried out by rail transport to Norway, northern Sweden and the rest of the European continent.
The main challenge is the relatively strong volatile development of the car sales and the change of distribution patterns. The 45,000 slots must be filled and emptied several times a year, as the land lease is high and employees need to be occupied. The Ukraine crisis is also a challenge, since it affects the trade with Russia.
ESPO: The Port of Copenhagen Malmö is an important cruise and ferry port in Northern Europe. How is the business evolving? What are the main challenges?
CMP: CMP is the largest cruise port in the Baltic Sea area with more than 700,000 passengers each year. Almost half of our cruise calls are so called ‘turn-arounds’, where the vessels change passengers. Today, CMP has seven berthing places in Copenhagen and 2-3 in Malmö. We have an intensive cooperation with the local stakeholders including Copenhagen Airport and Malmö Airport, the first having many direct flight connections and the latter providing excellent regional flights and charter facilities. The cruise vessels can easily reach the capital cities in the Baltic Sea and the Norwegian coastline from our facilities, whereas cruise involving the North Sea/British Channel is an increasing activity.
For many years we have had no real competition, but we are now facing competition due to a change in passenger composition, as more European tourists use the cruise concept and more ports in the Baltic Sea have invested in an upgrade of their cruise facilities. But most competition is to be expected from the Asian upcoming market.
The SECA regulation has been a challenge for the Baltic Sea ports. Some ships had to leave the area because they could not use the SECA fuel and other ships have changed their round trips by sailing less. In the coming years we expect to expand our activity with 3-4 % annually, mainly by using larger ships carrying more passengers.
In 2018, we will expand our cruise terminal operational activities to the heritage city Visby on the Swedish Island Gotland in the Baltic Sea with two berths in a lease agreement with Gotland.
ESPO: Since 1 January, the sulphur directive has come into force. Do you already have an idea on its impact on your port?
CMP: The impact of the sulphur directive has been modest for CMP. We had a small decline of cruise calls because of the Directive, which came into force in January 2015. But up till now, the low sulphur prices have reduced the negative consequences.
ESPO: How does the Port of Copenhagen Malmö estimate the future potential of LNG for the Scandinavian region? Is the port involved in any projects related to LNG?
CMP: With regard to the potential of LNG, CMP expects this to be relevant for us between 2020 and 2025, since we believe the market will be more mature by that time. Today, only very few ships are equipped with LNG engines and the market needs to mature. However we are already seeing developments: for example some car carriers and cruise ships are being equipped with LNG fuel.
ESPO: What initiatives is the Port of Copenhagen Malmö taking towards digitalisation?
CMP: We are digitalizing all our administrative and operational activities where possible and financially feasible. CMP has a state of the art operational performance and we are digitally connected to the authorities. This is becoming increasingly important.
ESPO: Would you call the Port of Copenhagen Malmö a “green port”? The port of Copenhagen Malmö is a member of the EcoPorts network and is an ISO 14.001 certified port. Could you briefly tell us about your environmental policies?
CMP: We are green. CMP has an integrated ISO 9001 and 14.001 certification and has made the EcoPorts Self Diagnose with a very high score. We probably have the most efficient sewage reception facilities at our new cruise quay with a capacity of 300 cm/h from each vessel berthed and we are constantly looking for improvement of our environmental performance.
ESPO: What are the main investment projects in the port of Copenhagen Malmö for the upcoming years? Could you briefly describe the importance of these investment projects for the port and the city?
CMP: CMP invested heavily in new port facilities during the years 2009-2014. In Malmö we have invested in facilities that will enable us a four doubling of our operations. In Copenhagen we have invested in new bulk facilities and in our new cruise quay with three terminals. This means a total investment over the years of more than 250 million euro. CMP is ready for the future. In the coming years we plan to invest in upgrading the railway facilities in Malmö and perhaps an additional cruise terminal in Copenhagen. Furthermore we need to move our container terminal in Copenhagen due to city development. We are currently looking for the best options for a new location with new state of the art environmental friendly equipment.
ESPO: ESPO is a partner of PORTOPIA, an FP7 project that aims to measure port performance. What is Copenhagen Malmö’s approach for measuring the port’s performance?
CMP: Measuring the ports performance is a difficult matter and an area in which we invest a lot of effort. CMP is incorporating KPIs in our business management model, which incorporates all our employees in setting up goals and measuring our activities and our performance. These include the quality and environmental performance as well. CMP has received several awards for the achievements through this work both from the cruise industry as well as the car business.
Picture: Port of Copenhägen (by Perry Nordeng)