During the last 10 – 15 years the Port of Klaipeda improved all its main parameters: depth of the port channel was increased from 12.5 to 15 m at the gate and from 9.5 to 14.5 m inside the port. Today the port can accommodate vessels of large tonnage. Many berths were reconstructed or extended, a number of new freight terminals opened. All these improvements allowed to increased the port capacity three times to more than 55 million tons per year.
From 1994 to 2011 the Port Authority investments in the port infrastructure (dredging, construction and reconstruction of berths.) amounted to 1.9 billion litas. At the same time stevedoring companies invested in the superstructure (warehouses, freight stations, terminal equipment and technologies, roads and railroads) more than 3.2 billion litas.
Today Klaipeda is the leading port in the Baltic States for container handling. Well developed intermodal connectivity of the port adds to its attractiveness for container carriers. Container trains Viking, Mercury and Sun link Klaipeda with Minsk, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Kazakhstan and China.
An MSC hub for container distribution in the Baltic region is being built in the port. When this project is completed, the terminal capacity will reach 1,000,000 TEU per year.
The multi-purpose import-export terminal for agricultural products with its advanced technologies accommodates large bulk carriers and distributes the cargo to other ports of the Baltic Sea.
The Port of Klaipeda is also an important tourism attraction in Lithuania. Seeking to utilize the possibilities the port and the Baltic Sea offer for development of marine tourism, further investments in the development of infrastructure are necessary. In 2013 a modern ro-pax terminal was built in the central part of the port.
Construction of LNG terminal will be completed in 2014. It is a priority project supervised by the Government of Lithuania seeking to assure independence of the country’s economy by diversifying gas suppliers.
The modern port is no more just a place for exchange of cargo, today it is an important node in the dynamic supply chains. It often becomes an essential competitive advantage for the country’s economy, therefore it is important to utilize this potential advantage to the full extent.
Attractiveness of the Port of Klaipeda
Due to geographical and historical factors the Baltic Sea serves as the main link between East and West. For many CIS and Middle East states the Baltic Sea is the shortest way to Western Europe and America, and for the Far East states serves as the most convenient transit route to Europe.
The Port of Klaipeda is the utmost northern ice-free port in eastern Baltic. It is the largest and most important transport node of Lithuania bringing together sea, road and railway routes from East and West. Even in coldest winters the port assures smooth shipping and unhindered cargo handling. Located on the crossroads of international freight corridors, the port serves as a bridge between the markets of CIS and Central Asia on the one hand, and European Union on the other.
The Port of Klaipeda tranships a large variety of cargoes: oil products, break-bulk, containerized cargo, bulk and liquid fertilisers, minerals and chemicals, agricultural products, metals and ores, ro-ro cargo, construction materials, liquid and frozen foodstuffs, timber, off-gauge cargo and heavy loads and many other types of cargo. The port provides services to passengers of ro-pax and cruise vessels.