THE MANAGING DIRECTOR'S REVIEW
A year of achievements
2017 will remain on the Port of Helsinki’s timeline as a year of fantastic achievements. In both passenger and cargo transport, we completed significant reforms that will enable our customers to conduct their operations even more smoothly.
In February, we opened the new West Terminal 2 at the West Harbour – ahead of the original schedule due to a customer’s needs. This terminal and the project that is reforming the entire West Harbour will bring the much needed added capacity to the extremely busy liner traffic to and from Estonia. The terminal, which has received several acknowledgements, has proven to be a well-functioning complex for both sea and land traffic. Its fine architecture provides smooth travel for passengers and wow experiences even before boarding a ship.
The completion of the Metsä Group’s exports terminal in Vuosaari Harbour and the launch of the export transports from Äänekoski’s new bioproduct mill provided a significant addition to the growth in cargo transport. Pulp trains began running after the summer, and pulp export was launched successfully. This annual transport of nearly a million tonnes also brought a new operator into the harbour, which will further widen our range of services to our customers.
In addition to these extensive projects, we have been working hard to increase travel comfort, improve traffic arrangements in the West Harbour in particular, and promote cooperation with the residents of the nearby neighbourhoods, among other things. We wish to highlight the importance of managing our environmental impact and paying attention to the needs of our neighbours, especially because we are operating at the centre of Helsinki: we are offering incentives to reduce emissions and noise from vessels by adding to our price list for 2018 the possibility of a discount based on reductions in the environmental impact of vessels.
The number of ship passengers, the amount of cargo transported through our harbours and our financial outcome increased in 2017 to a whole new level. We are now the busiest passenger port in Europe and the number one general port for international cargo traffic in Finland. Marine passengers bring over 805 million euros to the Helsinki region annually, and the combined total revenue generated by operations connected to the Port is approximately 1.6 billion euros. Taking into account the local multiplier effect, port-related operations provide jobs for a total of 15,000 employees. The impact of our operation covers the entire country.
Finnish ports and businesses enjoy the positive developments brought on by the economic upswing, and expect the trend to continue. Maritime industry and the shipping sector reported record-breaking figures and trust in the future. Also sea travel has continued to grow in Helsinki for a long time.
We are a pioneer in the port sector, operating in the capital city of Finland and surrounded by a strong flow of transport and materials. Our wish to remain at the top will continue to require that we meet future challenges responsibly, with enthusiasm and gratitude, and by continuously improving our operations. The port will focus its efforts particularly on ensuring continued viable conditions for our operation and making sure that the harbour traffic is taken into account even more fully than before when developing road traffic connections of the city.
I was both happy and a little sad to move on to my new role when my work for the harbour ended at the turn of the year. I am truly proud of the achievements we have reached together.
Managing Director until 30 December 2017