Positive outlook for the port sector in the Baltic Sea but recovery seems to be taking longer than previously expected
​The Baltic Port Index (BPI) that gives a general overview of ports’ expectations for the upcoming year in the Baltic Sea has risen notably since last year. It is at 50 now (18 last year), indicating positive outlook for 2011 in the port sector. However, ports are expecting that peak cargo volume levels that were experienced just before current economic downturn will not be reached again in the Baltic Sea before 2012 or 2013.
Prospects for all cargo types are good but the ‘other dry cargo’ market (non-bulk, including unitized cargo) is expected to develop better than the bulk cargo market in the Baltic Sea in 2011.

Capacity and investments to increase in many ports

More ports report future capacity increases and port investments compared with the last year’s Barometer. Over half report that the capacity in their port will increase in 2011. Similarly, over half foresee higher investments in their port for 2011.
Recent development: changes in the cargo structure of Baltic Sea ports and growth in vessel size
Majority of ports has reported changes in their cargo structure since the beginning of 2009. There has been volatility in certain cargo types, for example in oil and oil products, during the last two years. Another notable short-term trend is the increase in the size of vessels visiting ports since the beginning of 2009.

Background to the survey

The Baltic Port Barometer is a survey designed to provide short-term trend information on Baltic Sea port development, by assessing business and traffic prospects across the Baltic Sea region. The Barometer comprises a set of qualitative information that is collected from top-level port authority representatives in the Baltic Sea region. A total of 49 seaport authorities around the Baltic Sea participated in the third Baltic Port Barometer survey, conducted during two months in June-August 2010. The survey was conducted by the Centre for Maritime Studies at the University of Turku, Finland, in co-operation with the Baltic Ports Organization (BPO).
Published 9th September 2010