Preparing for the arrival of larger vessels

During the course of a very busy year, the Vuosaari Harbour continued preparing for the arrival of larger vessels and developed the harbour infrastructure as planned. The harbours in the city centre experienced growth in truck traffic, especially towards Estonia. It was decided that in the future the growth of traffic will be steered with dynamic pricing from peak periods to less busy times and to Vuosaari Harbour.

At the beginning of March, the Port of Helsinki adopted a new facility management system called Granlund Manager, which automates and streamlines the maintenance of the harbour infrastructure and supports the optimisation and reporting of energy use, among other things.

The area of just over 3 hectares between Nurminen Logistics and Gustav Paulig in logistics area S in Vuosaari Harbour was returned to the control of the Port of Helsinki in the summer of 2018. The area was transformed into field space for the needs of unitized cargo. At first, it served as a storage area for empty containers, among other things.

In November, Customs concentrated their operations in Vuosaari Harbour in the V6 and V7 buildings owned by the Port of Helsinki. The renovations that the Port ordered for the premises were finished in October.

Year 2018 was the first full year of pulp export from Metsä Group’s Äänekoski plant via Vuosaari Harbour

At the end of the year, the harbour operator M.Rauanheimo began the construction of a new terminal at Vuosaari Harbour. The terminal, with 4,210 square metres of floor space, was opened in February 2019. It is located next to Rauanheimo’s first terminal and is intended for the handling of timber, among other things.

The Supreme Administrative Court gave its final decision in the summer, in accordance with which the Port of Helsinki paid compensation for the disturbances caused during the construction work at Vuosaari Harbour. The decision corresponded with the estimate  for the most part, and the compensation was paid by the beginning of 2019.

The Port negotiated with the Finnish Food Authority about transferring the veterinary border inspection post from Malminkartano to the Vuosaari Harbour gate area. The post oversees that animals and animal products imported from outside the EU meet the conditions for import. The Port will likely begin the construction of the new facilities in spring 2019.

Preparation for the growth of vessel size

Vessels are becoming larger in cargo traffic, as well. For example, Finnlines’ Breeze class ro-ro ships lengthened by 30 metres started visiting Vuosaari Harbour from the beginning of summer 2018 onwards.

At the end of the year, the Port of Helsinki constructed 30 additional metres of crane rail beams at berth D in Vuosaari Harbour. They will be used by the new crane ordered by the harbour operator Multi-Link Terminals in spring 2019. The new crane will ease the handling of larger vessels.

The mooring of longer vessels requires a sufficiently long supporting structure to support the vessel while it is docked. The Port of Helsinki applied for a permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency to extend the quays’ GP1 and GP2 dolphin structures by 57.5 and 45.0 metres. The permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency is expected to be received in 2019.

The Port was granted a five-year extension period for the permit decrees for the construction of the AP quay, during which the quay can be lengthened by a maximum of 40 metres. The construction is intended to be executed during 2019.

Vuosaari Harbour and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency have applied together for a permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency to dredge the sea fairway leading to the harbour, deepening it from 11 metres to 13 metres. The water permit was granted in June 2017, but an appeal concerning it was made to the Administrative Court of Vaasa. The decision is expected to be issued at the start of 2019. The project to deepen the fairway was granted a total of 6.7 million euros of EU support.

The growth of heavy traffic is steered to Vuosaari

The amount of cargo in the harbours of the city centre grew in 2018. Cargo traffic towards Estonia in particular was busy. However, the peak periods of land traffic at the harbour are a challenge, especially in the Jätkäsaari area still under construction. For this reason, the Port of Helsinki decided to implement dynamic pricing in 2019 based on the busiest times of the day. Its aim is to steer the growth of traffic from the rush hours in the West and South Harbour to less busy times of the day and to Vuosaari Harbour.

West Harbour introduced the new ‘just-in-time’ check-in for heavy traffic in November. Trucks and lorries will be let into the harbour’s quay area approximately 2–3 hours before the ship’s departure to await boarding. The check-in is then conducted from inside the vehicle, which, in addition to speeding up the process, reduces the need for waiting areas in the vicinity of the harbour.

Grain storage facilities were developed at the Port of Loviisa

The business environment of the Port of Loviisa, a subsidiary of the Port of Helsinki specialised in the mechanical forest industry and dry bulk, continued its positive development. For example, Suomen Viljava Oy continued investing significantly in the development of their grain storage facilities and reception equipment in the area of the Port of Loviisa.