Towards becoming the most functional port in the world
The busy year of 2018 at the Port of Helsinki ended with record-breaking numbers in cargo traffic. In passenger traffic, the number of ship passengers was slightly less than the previous, record-breaking year, but the Port retained its status as the busiest international passenger port in Europe.
We once again saw how the traffic passing through the Port of Helsinki indicates the direction of the whole Finnish economy. By the second quarter of the year, the amounts of cargo traffic were slightly less than was expected. Now the general forecasts also show very moderate numbers for the Finnish economy.
Nevertheless, 2018 for the Port of Helsinki was coloured by the new growth strategy for the coming years and the definition of key projects. We set becoming the most functional port in the world as our vision. This gives direction for our operations and inspires both our employees and the partners whom we work with.
We will focus on working efficiently and using our resources profitably. We will advance smooth traffic connections and logistics solutions. In our operations, we will emphasise sustainable development, but also customer satisfaction and the experience that passengers receive. We will seek benefits from the solutions offered by new technology and digitalisation across the board. Our sights are firmly focused on the development of operations and finding new streams of income for the coming years.
Along with the strategy, we have also modified our organisation and company management to correspond with our objectives. Sari Nevanlinna, in charge of Passenger Services, and HR Director Anu Ennelin will do their part in firmly steering the Port of Helsinki towards our new goals. Furthermore, due to the changes brought about by the EU Port Services Regulation, we decided to transfer mooring and unmooring services to our subsidiary, South Finland Port Service Ltd, from the beginning of 2019 onwards.
The traffic increasing through the year also resulted in challenges in the traffic connections of the harbours in the city centre – especially in Jätkäsaari, where new urban areas are being built next to the harbour. The Port of Helsinki wants to be a functional part of the city and a good neighbour for the local residents. At the same time, we want to secure the benefits of busy ship traffic for our customers, the City of Helsinki and the whole of Finland. From the Port’s perspective, land traffic to and from the port needs to be smooth in all its forms. Even the current amount of traffic requires tangible infrastructure solutions in the road network to streamline traffic at the port and elsewhere. In 2019, we will continue this work in close cooperation with the City of Helsinki.
I want to thank our customers, personnel and partners for a great year. The past year was my first as the CEO of the Port of Helsinki. The year was very busy. Alongside normal operations, we worked on the strategy outlining the future of the Port of Helsinki. Now the coordinates are clear, and this is a good place to continue our concrete, determined work towards our vision: ‘The most functional port in the world’.
Ville Haapasaari, CEO