port Szczecin
Library of ZMPSiŚ articles of the terminal



Container Terminal. From Upper Silesia to Świnoujście by Odra River!


The deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście, integrated into the network of trans-European transport corridors, will be one of the few in the Baltic Sea Basin, where the use inland navigation as a method of hinterland transport is possible. Undoubtedly this is an advantage that increases the capacity of the terminal and the entire Oder estuary port complex. Inland waterways provide the most efficient and ecological mode of transport. Together with rail connections, they are an important element of the European Union's White Paper on Transport, which describes the directions of development of transport for decades to come.


According to the White Paper guidelines, by 2030 30% of road freight transport over a distance of more than 300 km is to be transferred to waterways or railways. By 2050, this is already expected to be half of that transport.


Efficient and green transport

The market share of inland waterway transport services will gradually increase for a number of reasons. Without a doubt, it is the greenest method of inland transport.


Capacity is also important. One inland waterway vessel of international class shall have a payload between 1,5 thousand and 3 000 tonnes. This means that its capacity is as much as that of 60 to 120 trucks. 


Energy efficiency of inland waterway transport is also worth noting. One “Europe” type barge replaces 30 trucks. One tonne of cargo with the same amount of energy can be transported by boat at a distance of 370 km, by train – 300 km, and by truck – only 100 km.


Inland waterways


The main factors determining the efficiency of inland waterway transport are the restoration of navigability of waterways and the adaptation of their navigational conditions to a level appropriate to waterways of international status.


Oder Water Way (E-30 - connects the Baltic Sea in Świnoujście with the Danube in Bratislava), a large part of the Vistula River (E-40- connects the Baltic Sea from Gdansk with the Black Sea in Odessa) and Warta-Noteć (E-70  - connecting the Oder to the Vistula Lagoon and being the part of east-west transport route connecting Klaipeda with Rotterdam) were included in the network of waterways of international importance in 2017 - when Poland ratified the UN AGN Convention. It obliges signatories to restore their navigability and provide at least class IV waterway (lowest international class).


These routes require investment, regulation, modernization and construction of new hydrotechnical facilities. The directions are set out in the government's "Assumptions for plans for the development of inland waterways in Poland for the period 2016-2020 with a view to 2030".


From Upper Silesia to the mouth of the Oder


- At the moment we are carrying out many projects on Oder Waterway – informs Krzysztof Woś, Vice President for Protection against Flood and Drought of “Wody Polskie”. - The work is carried out among others on the Gliwicki Canal. Locks of Kłodnica, Rudzieniec, Dzierżno and Łabędy are already after modernization. We are finalizing modernization of Nowa Wieś and Sławięcice locks. By the middle of the year, works shall be completed.


On the canalised part of Oder, from Koźle to Brzeg Dolny, 8 weirs are modernized and locks are rebuilt on 7 barrages.


- We adapt them to the parameters of international class – emphasizes Krzysztof Woś. - Two new barrages, in Lubiąż and Ścinawa are in the design phase. The documentation should be ready by 2023.


On the free flowing section of the Oder, from Ścinawa towards the mouth of Nysa Łużycka, 341 groynes will be renovated or rebuilt.


- Together with the German side, we have located 5 places limiting navigation on the border section of the river - continues Krzysztof Woś. - We will remove these obstacles, eliminate places of congestion, improve depth and navigation.


The restoration of navigation on the Oder River requires also the reconstruction and lifting of bridges.


- The bridge in Szczecin Podjuchy over Regalica will be rebuilt– continues the representative of Wody Polskie. Soon the contractor will be chosen, the offers are being verified. We will carry out that task together with PKP PLK. The bridge will have a clearance of 6.2 m.


The modernization of the railway bridge in Kostrzyn will be done by the German side. On the other hand, the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways and Wody Polskie are responsible for the reconstruction of road bridges in Kostrzyn over the Oder and Warta rivers.


The bridge in Krosno Odrzańskie will also be lifted to meet the parameters of the international class.


"As part of short-term investments, we started primarily with the elimination of so-called bottlenecks", stresses the Vice-President of Wody Polskie. - We want to complete this work in 2023 and restore the possibility of long-route shipping from Upper Silesia to the mouth of the Oder River.




Oder River significantly increases the business potential of the project - extending hinterland of container terminal to the whole area of the river basin, the south of the country and further central Europe, to all industrial and commercial plants near the river, Berlin (Oder-Havel Canal), eastern Germany with convenient inland connections. An additional advantage will be Szczecin-Świnoujście waterway modernized to a depth of 12.5 m. The works will be completed next year.


All these projects, including expressways and rail network create multimodal net of connections between Świnoujście, Central Europe and Scandinavia. These are no longer just projects, but actual investments!


Prospects – TEN-T network revision!


The fulfilment of the obligations arising from Polish accession to the UN AGN Convention requires long term action. However, incorporation of our inland waterways into the TEN-T trans-European transport network opens the possibility for Poland to apply for EU funds, for example from CEF (Connecting Europe Facility). In 2023 Brussels plans to revise the TEN-T network. This is also a great opportunity for projects related to the development of the Oder Waterway, barrages, hydroelectric power plants, retention reservoirs, modernization and maintenance of all hydrotechnical infrastructure. This is an opportunity to implement an ambitious plan to build the Silesian Canal or connect the Oder with the Danube. 


Offers can be submitted until April 15th this year. (PJ)




Świnoujście. Modern railway lines will connect the container terminal to the whole of Europe


Multimodal connections of the deep-water terminal in Świnoujście are a basic condition for economic success of this project. One of the main modes of hinterland transport will be an efficient rail network. PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe already carries out massive scope of investments, both within the port complex area, and on the lines connecting Świnoujście with rest of the country and Central Europe. S3 expressway, connection with Berlin by the Oder-Hawel Canal, and in the longer perspective of the Oder River Waterway will be equally important ways of communication.


The container terminal in Świnoujście will be a part of integrated European transport corridors. The project fits perfectly to the ideas described in so-called White Paper on Transport of the European Union, indicating the strategic directions for development of transport and its transformation in the coming decades. Rail and water transport are of particular importance, both from ecological and economic point of view. According to the EU's 2030 strategy, 30% of total transport volume should be transferred from roads to rail or inland waterways, and by 2050 it is expected to be 50% of this transport already.


Therefore the railway investments carried out in Szczecin and Świnoujście port complex, and on the lines connecting these ports with hinterland are very necessary. Investors have no doubt about this issue.


- Projects in the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście and on the routes Wroclaw - Szczecin and Poznan - Szczecin are important both on a national and international level. Investments increase the significance of railways as efficient, safe and green transport mode, and will bring tangible benefits for the economy. PKP PLK's activities are part of the idea of European Green Deal –  says Arnold Bresch, Member of the Board, Director of Investment Implementation, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A.


Railway investments in the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujscie


In the area of ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. is currently carrying out an investment worth about PLN 1.5 billion. CEF – Connecting Europe" funds are used for this purpose. The work will provide the access for longer and heavier trains to the ports. Handling of 750-meter long trains with a load of 221 kN per axle will be possible. Trains will be handled faster and more efficiently. Transhipment capacity will also increase. Ports will be able to receive and dispatch more cargo, increasing both the competitiveness of freight transport and their potential, at the same stimulating the economic development of the region. 


17 kilometres of new tracks have already been constructed in the area of Szczecin Port Centralny station. The contractor installs poles and structures supporting new traction network. The new Traffic Management System devices are installed. The ground under the tracks is strengthened, drainage is performed to ensure the smooth passage of heavier freight trains. The infrastructure on Ostrow Grabowski, which is at the disposal of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority is also being rebuilt.


In the area of Świnoujście station, a second track is being built between the stations Świnoujście Przytór and Świnoujście. New track switches are installed to improve the capacity of the line and to allow transit of higher number of trains. About 9 km of new tracks and a traction network are exchanged at Świnoujście freight station. New switches have been installed, which are important elements of track system, responsible for efficient operations of trains at the station.


At Lubiewo station there are new switches already, and a new traction network have been installed, and one of the tracks has been replaced. In the Euroterminal area the land for construction of more tracks has been strengthened. 


The scale of work in the area of Szczecin and Świnoujście ports is confirmed by the figures: about 100 km of tracks and traction network will be upgraded, 285 track switches will be exchanged. The level of safety will be increased by installing of modern Railway Traffic Management System.


In Szczecin, the bridge over Parnica River and 3 railway viaducts will also be rebuilt. The work is expected to be completed by mid-2022.


Modernization of strategic lines to Poznan and Wroclaw


The activities of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe are synchronized with the ports expansion plans, and are in line with the investments of the Ports’ Authority. In addition to investments carried out directly in the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście, the Infrastructure Manager modernizes the access lines  – the route Poznań - Szczecin - Świnoujście and Wroclaw - Szczecin (so-called “Nadodrzanka”). 


It is worth noting that for PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A., the project: "Modernization of the E59 railway line on the section Poznań Główny – Szczecin Dąbie” is one of the major projects under the National Railway Program. 


The investment worth around PLN 4.1 billion is also co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). As a result of this work, the comfort of travel and safety level will increase, and travel time will be reduced. After obtaining the necessary permits, the fastest long-distance trains will travel between Poznan and Szczecin in less than 2 hours, at a speed of 160 km/h. The upgraded route will provide better conditions for transport of goods within important section of the European transport corridor, leading from Lower Silesia to Western Pomerania. The main work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.


PKP PLK is also gradually modernizing route C-E 59 from Wroclaw to Szczecin, which delivers cargo from the south to the West Pomeranian ports. The effects of improving of technical condition of the route and eliminating bottlenecks are already visible. Travel times, also for freight trains have been significantly reduced. Another improvement is connected with the construction of a new bridge in Szczecin Podjuchy, which will eliminate the single-track bottleneck on the exit from the port of Szczecin.


PKP PLK is already preparing a feasibility study to continue the modernization of “Nadodrzanka”. The documents which are prepared will allow to determine the scope of works and their approximate costs. When the investment is done, the allowed length of freight trains will be increased to 750 metres, and the speed of freight trains to 100 km/h. The capacity of the route will also be increased, and more trains, including freight trains, will be able to run. The start of the program is related to raising of funds for the EU 2021-2027 perspective. 


Offers can be submitted until April 15th this year.


Proceedings are ongoing to identify the investor and the subsequent operator of the deep-water container terminal. Interested parties may submit their offers until April 15th 2021.(PJ)




Świnoujście. In 2024 – drive from the container terminal to the Czech border by express road!


Location of the deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście, in the transport corridor between Scandinavia and Adriatic Sea, is an undeniable advantage of the project. Only if that the terminal is well connected with the hinterland of Eastern Germany, Southern Poland and Central Europe, and the transport modes include expressways, rail links and waterways. This connection network is being built. Already in 2024 from port of Świnoujście we will be able to reach Lubawka on the border with the Czech Republic by S3 expressway.


The S3 expressway is part of the transport corridor connecting Scandinavia with the Adriatic Region. Hundreds of lorries are already departing and arriving by ferry connecting Świnoujście with cities of Ystad and Trelleborg in Sweden, to continue their journey south. In a few years, when the deep-water container terminal project in the external port is completed, this volume will increase significantly.


Expressway S3 – trunk route


The S3 is also the main trunk road along Polish Western border, connecting three highways – A6, A2 and A4.


- This route has been gradually built since year 2007 – recalls Łukasz Lendner, director of Szczecin branch of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA).


– At that time began the construction of the first sections of S3 express road: Szczecin - Gorzów Wielkopolski, the next sections were built in Lubuskie and Dolnośląskie Provinces. Currently, about 80 percent of this road is ready. In Western Pomerania, only the section from Szczecin to Świnoujście remains to be fully completed. In the South part of the country, construction of the final section from Bolków to Lubawka with two tunnels is underway, and a short section in the Polkowice region is being finalized.


Extension of the Miękowo - Rzęśnica section


The first reconstructed section in Western Pomerania, driving from Szczecin, is Miękowo - Rzęśnica with a length of 19 km. This is a common route of national roads Nos. 3 and 6. This dual carriageway route, under a name “S3”, was built in the second half of the 1970s. Originally, only one road node was built - Rurka (Goleniów Południe), in the following years more nodes and viaducts were added. However, the route has never been fully adapted to the parameters of the expressway. There is an investment almost completed now, that will change that. As part of a contract worth PLN 126.3 million, a road junction was built in Kliniska Wielkie. The Rzęśnica node was also completely rebuilt. Finishing work is underway, and should be finalized in April this year.


S3: Brzozowo - Miękowo

The dual carriageway S3 ends at the bypass of Miękowo, which has been in service since 2012, and the DK3 single-carriageway is still there. This is also the beginning of the next section of the new S3: Brzozowo - Miękowo with a length of 22.4 km. New dual carriageway S3, bypasses of Miękowo, Troszyn, Parłówko and Ostromice. The contract worth PLN 360.5 million is also expected to be completed in April this year.


- The progress of the works is significant, on most of the section finishing works are underway – informs director Łukasz Lendner. - Connection with other roads will be provided by road nodes – Babigoszcz, Przybiernów and Brzozowo. The road will mostly pass through forest areas, so four large animal crossings are being built. 


Last stage: Troszyn –  Świnoujście and the junction to the tunnel


The last section of the S3 expressway in West Pomerania, which remains to be built, is the section between Świnoujście and Troszyn with a length of 33km. This section of S3 will begin at a roundabout at the exit of the tunnel in Świnoujście, and it will end at the Troszyn bypass.


Dual carriageway S3 will provide adequate capacity necessary for the development of ferry connections and other needs of the port of Świnoujście. The work is progressing because governmental funding has already been secured in 2017.


-The contracts for the design and construction of this part of the road were signed In August 2020 – informs the head of Szczecin branch of GDDKiA. - The construction of the road was divided into two fragments: Świnoujście - Dargobądz and Dargobądz - Troszyn. The total value of contracts is PLN 1.36 billion and the total value of the investment exceeds PLN 1.5 billion.


Contractors are preparing the projects. In the middle of this year, applications for decisions for the implementation of the investment should be submitted. The works are expected to start in spring 2022 and are due to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.


The new route will mostly run in the corridor of the existing national road No. 3 with minor adjustments. In the area of The Wolinski National Park, a second road lane will be added to the existing one. Tighter road curves in this section will force the speed limit. There will be six road nodes built.

S3: from Bolków to the Czech border


Last year, construction work began on the southernmost section of the S3 - from Bolków to the state border in Lubawka, with a length of more than 31 kilometers. The route is divided into two smaller implementation sections: from the Bolków node to Kamienna Góra node, and from Kamienna Góra node to Lubawka (state border). 


This section of the expressway will include: two road tunnels: one about 2300m long, between the villages of Sady Górne, Stare and Nowe Bogaczowice, and the second with a length of about 320m near the village of Gostków. The project also provides for three road junctions. In 2023, this section of the S3 road should be ready.


Offers can be submitted until April 15th this year.





Janusz Żmurkiewicz, The Mayor of Świnoujście: This city is ideally suited for construction of a container terminal!

Interview with Janusz Żmurkiewicz, The Mayor of City of Świnoujście


From a historical viewpoint –the port was here first, then the city. How do the people of Świnoujście perceive this relationship today?


For those, who settled here after the war and the first generations who were born in Świnoujście, it was obvious that initially there was a port and a small village here. The port developed much faster than Świnoujście, but also influenced the development of the city. Among others, the Deepsea Fishery and Fishing Services Company “Odra” was active here. This  name says little to young people today, but it was one of the largest shipowners, whose trawlers sailed through the farthest seas and oceans. It gave workplaces to thousands of employees, from Świnoujście and from all over Poland. They came here for hard, but well-paid work. At that time, many people were connected with the maritime economy. Port, shipowners, shipyard – that was dominant industry. Every family had at least one person working in the maritime economy. Tourism was undeveloped, there were not so many hotels, places saved from the pre-war times, which began to function most often as corporate holiday resorts. Today, some people underestimate the maritime economy, but that was the base of activities in this city.


These proportions have changed...


That's true. And I am glad that the development of Świnoujście is not built on one base. There are cities on the Baltic Sea coast based only on spas and tourism. The pandemic has paralyzed these industries. They are inactive and the cities died off. And yet the virus is not the only threat. What would happen if an oil tanker crashes in the Baltic Sea and pollutes our waters? I remember how the wastewater, that got into the Baltic Sea by rivers prevented swimming in Międzyzdroje and nearby villages. Who will come to Świnoujście if you would not be able to use the beaches, get swimming in the water? We are one of those cities that have a tourist spa part, and a port part. We are standing on two legs. Today, that economic part is active despite the pandemic. Świna River splits the city in a natural way. The island of Wolin has always been a base for development of economy, ports and companies of the maritime industry. Left side, the island of Uznam, acts only as tourist and spa part. And if anyone suggests today that tourist services will develop on the island of Wolin, that for example hotels should be built there - I will say that he is wrong. We can build hotels, but not in the port zone and its surroundings. I am satisfied that during my term as The Mayor, the development of the city has been targeted, and these industries are not struggling with each other, they do not collide, they are supporting each other. Today, the tourist attractions comprise not only the lighthouse or the forts, but also the gas tankers that arrive to the LNG terminal, wait at the anchorage, and then are berthed in the port. We can enjoy the view of these giant ships from the breakwater. They can be seen only in Świnoujście.


The Management Board of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority begins to implement the project of a deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście. Is there a need for such terminal?


Świnoujście is ideally suited for such ventures, and I have always been, I am, and I will be a supporter of investments that serve our city. These investments cannot be realized in Szczecin. That city is located too far from the ports’ entrance, ships have to travel for hours, many miles, to reach this port. And large ships are unable to call port of Szczecin. And Świnoujście is an external port, which is able to handle the largest ships that can sail in the Baltic Sea. The operational costs of an external port are incomparably lower than the internal port. I’ve supported the concept of building a gas terminal. Gas-port operates, works for Poland and the City. Presently it is expanded. I had no doubt that it was the right decision. The LNG terminal also significantly adds funds to the budget of Świnoujście. I look similarly at the further development of the port, and project of construction of container terminal next to the gas-port. The container terminal handles the safest loads of all that can be seen in the port. It's just a clean cargo. The rank of the city and the port is another important aspect. If the port continues to grow, we will be visible on the map as one of the larger and developing ports on the beautiful Baltic Sea.


The concerns of the local government, the residents?


I have no worries. I look at it in a broader perspective. If we are talking about the construction of a container port, I know that creation of the right conditions is necessary for it to function. It's like a gasport. To say it colloquially, this is not a gas pipe. It will be necessary to create a road system, rail connections, waterway connections, provide the means of delivery of containers to smaller ports. National road 3 is being upgraded and will get the status of an expressway in a moment. It will handle the transport of containers also. Secondly, the railway system is being modernized, and there are major investments for development of the port access. The City carries out an infrastructure investment for over PLN 120 million. Moreover, the Szczecin-Świnoujście waterway is being modernized. The perspective is to restore the inland navigation on the Odra River, towards the south of the country, in order to transport some cargo by barges. New quays are planned to handle the containers. These investments, necessary for normal functioning of the container terminal, are already underway. The arguments of those who challenged the project to build the terminal, e.g. threat of cutting down 400 hectares of forest in the Warszów district – were untrue and exaggerated. Port Authority applied to the City to extend the port boundaries in order to implement infrastructure investments, to bring the road to the port, which will actually be built an operate on the water. In fact, it is only 30 hectares of land necessary for the construction of connection infrastructure of the terminal.




We complain that our society is getting older, young people are leaving. Why? Because there is a shortage of well-paid jobs. The container port will provide these. The terminal will attract to Świnoujście many young, educated people, whom we need here very much. There will also evolve smaller companies around the port, which will provide associated services, etc. This is an absolutely developing factor for the city. We also count on action from the investor side on behalf of the local community. We articulated our expectations in a letter sent to Port Authority. The tender documentation includes the point at which the investor has to indicate such actions. We hope for example on support to acquire drinking water, which, after all, will also be needed in the container port. 

The recreation and spa and port area will soon be connected by a tunnel. It will open a new perspective of the development of Świnoujście...


Tunnel, bridge in essence connect both sides. We today connect the city – the islands of Wolin and Uznam. And because of this we create excellent conditions for the development of Świnoujście. The decades long ordeal of our inhabitants, when every day they were crossing the river from the left bank to the right bank, going to school or work, wasting time on ferries, comes to an end. There is also a financial aspect – maintaining of ferry crossing costs us PLN 40 million per year. But it's over. The tunnel will revive the right bank, an area with great potential. There are areas there belonging both to the city and to private individuals, whose attractiveness will automatically increase when a permanent connection is available. Permanent connection is also a huge opportunity for the development of townships located near Świnoujście, e.g. Międzyzdroje. The municipality of Wolin can soon become the sleeping area of Świnoujście, after all, there are areas for cheap housing available there. In Świnoujście the land is scarce and very expensive. Having a tunnel, from the center of Wolin to the center of Świnoujście we will be able to travel in 15 minutes. It will not be a barrier anymore. (pj)




Jerzy Wójtowicz, President of C. Hartwig: Without a container terminal, the Port of Świnoujście will be regressing.

Is deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście a good idea?


We have been expressing this need for at least a decade. As part of my professional and social responsibilities, I have carefully surveyed the directions of development of maritime transport, and quickly came to the conclusion that a port without a deep-water container terminal is doomed to marginalize and will be able to develop at most, some cargo niches.


For years I have been arguing with dissenters of the construction of the terminal in Świnoujście, and I’ve always emphasized what Prof. Horst Linde from Berlin recently reiterated – that there is no such terminal between Hamburg and Gdansk yet, and that the terminal in Świnoujście, due to its location, will have a number of indisputable advantages.


Why should Shipping Lines give up their routes and use the new terminal?


This is indeed a very important issue, because, to put it simply, it are the Shipping Lines who decide on the location of their base terminals. Only after that, Shippers can take appropriate actions. I am convinced that the Shipping Lines before making a decision will do detailed calculations, from which it will be clear that calling Świnoujście will be simply profitable. An important element of such calculation will be the benefits of Świnoujście location.


The Management Board of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority is waiting for offers from interested parties, who will prepare the project, build a terminal and provide the operator. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. Is it an ambitious plan?


Very ambitious. Infrastructure investment in maritime transport is usually a long-term investment, and if this project can be completed by the end of 2024, it will be a huge success. These specific dates are important because they are mobilizing, but also important for project coordination. 


Let us remember, however, that we are talking about a completely new, powerful, extremely technologically advanced transport system, with berths for mega container ships, feeder ships, barges, road connections and a terminal railway station. Achieving the proposed handling capacity means handling of an average of 5,000 TEU per day. The station will therefore have to efficiently handle several dozen container trains a day.


The strengths of the project?


Undoubtedly, the location, at the entrance of the Oder River and at the beginning, but also at the intersection of various inland waterways, with the prospect of the Oder-Danube connection, access to central Europe by inland waterway shipping.


I would also like to draw attention to the marine effects of global warming and the opening of the north-east passage. Even the drilling machine for the tunnel under the Świna used this route. Environmentalists, of course, have doubts, and they protest, but the progress of green transport is so significant, that at some point these objections will disappear.


The north-east passage is shorter by one third than the traditional route around Asia and through Suez Canal. If this happens, the terminal in Świnoujście will become even more important. For the ships that will sail along cost of Norway, the first deep-water terminal on the way would be Świnoujście. Then we would be able to expand our hinterland towards the Adriatic. And we have to bear in mind that presently the ports located in the Adriatic are trying to expand in our direction, and from that side they are already reaching Polish borders.




You need to find an operator who will be convinced that this idea is workable. He must realize that if the terminal starts operations in 2025, he will not immediately earn money, because no one will voluntarily give us their containers.


I also have concerns about our western neighbors. Usually, they had simply protectionist approach to their transport infrastructure. Years ago, we handled deliveries of ore from the Baltic Sea to  Eisenhüttenstadt. It’s difficult to imagine a better supply route, by ships to Szczecin and further by barges on Oder River to  Eisenhüttenstadt. It worked for many years. Our neighbors, however, decided that the ore for the German steel works shall be reloaded in German port and began to handle it in Rostock, then delivered by wagons with a huge discount on tariff rates. I am afraid of this kind of protectionist action, but I also hope for genuine European integration, and victory of healthy economic rules.


At the moment, at least officially, the terminal concept is accompanied by a friendly atmosphere of both central and local authorities. Let's hope that this doesn't change. The pandemic and the need to combat its effects are also a threat. But for this purpose we will receive significant funds, also from European Union. Let us hope that cost of fighting the pandemic will not reduce the resources for modernization of railway lines and the restoration of navigability of the Oder River.


Volume potential?


In order to estimate the number of containers for Świnoujście, research of specialized institutions is needed. Undoubtedly, the hinterland of this terminal comprises entire area of the Oder River basin, the south part of the country and further central Europe, all industrial and commercial facilities near the Oder River, eastern Germany with convenient inland connections. This potential is existing undoubtedly.

Globally, container turnover is growing steadily, year to year. These containers are real, but as I already said, they will not appear here by themselves. The proper conditions have to be created to attract them.




A powerful development impulse and a chance for the Szczecin -Świnoujście port complex to join the leading group of world ports directly involved in handling of the most important and technologically advanced method of moving goods in global trade.


This is a chance to return the ports of Szczecin and  Świnoujście to the rank they have had in the 1970s, when we were the largest port in the Baltic Sea for perhaps one year. Thanks to the favorable location, and advantageous formal and legal solutions, we were north-south transit transshipment center. Millions of tons of cargo were handled through our quays in transit to Czechoslovakia, GDR, Hungary, Austria, Italy and even Romania and Bulgaria. Of course, times have changed, transport technologies have changed also. Presently, we do not aspire to be the port No. 1 in the Baltic Sea, but the deep-water container terminal will allow us to gain the meaning, to which we are predisposed by geographical location.


Container terminal is using wide range of most modern digital technologies, and it brings also a new way of cooperation of entire administrative  and service apparatus.


The terminal creates a demand for a wide number of types of services, and therefore it is surrounded by companies providing services to both cargo and means of transport.


I would also like to draw attention to so-called soft issues. The terminal needs to gain the opinion of the friendly facility not only for cargo, but also for various companies involved in its activities. At our potential competitors, this is not always the rule. And these are matters to which the Shippers attach great importance.


The resort will gain also?


Certainly will not lose. Let us not look far away. In the  past I worked in Belgium. Knokke-Heist is most famous and luxurious resort in this country, located on the North Sea coast. It is adjacent to the large Port of Zeebrugge, which can be viewed practically from the beach.  Great place. The port and resort live in  symbiosis.




Marek Tarczyński, PIFFA Council President: The advantage of Świnoujście is its location in the Baltic Sea


Attracting of liner ocean-going container services to Świnoujście is an vital opportunity for development of this port, of which the current volume structure is basically bulk – says Marek Tarczyński, President of the Council of the Polish International Freight Forwarders Association. 


How do you weigh up the project for the development of a deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście from a business point of view?


The determination of the Management Board of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority on the development of a deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście is understandable and justified. The presence of the most modern and dynamically developing container shipping is negligeable here, as previous attempts to start a container terminal in Świnoujście have backfired due to their provisional nature, and the tiny terminal in Szczecin has no chance of development due to the depth of the fairway.


Attracting liner sea-going container services to Świnoujście is an important opportunity for the development of this port, of which the current cargo type structure is typically bulk. Meanwhile, Gdynia, where Polish containerization began in the 1960’s, is trying to get out of the trap of being container feeder port, on one hand improving access to existing terminals and, on the other hand, implementing the concept of construction of an external port. The port of Gdańsk – planning to build more container quays goes with the flow of the leader, exploiting favorable navigation conditions.


The strengths and threats of this project?


The advantage of Świnoujście is its location in the Baltic Sea, reducing the cost of ocean mainline vessel’s call compared to the ports of the east coast. The weak side is more difficult access to the industrialized part of our interior, and probably a large qualitative and mental barrier to enter the German or Czech market, to which Świnoujście is naturally connected. 


The location of Świnoujście will prefer intermodal transport, which forces much higher quality requirements on the railway operator, by far comfortable rather with the transport of bulk cargo by "Nadodrzanka" rail line, while intermodal transport requires delivery fast and on time. There is also a possibility of protests of the industrialisation reluctant group of inhabitants, although the pandemic teaches that placing the future in the development of tourism only can be dangerous.


Your opinion about the container potential of the Baltic Sea?


Opponents of increasing of the potential of Świnoujście or Gdynia raise the threat of so-called cannibalization, that is devastating competition between terminals. On the contrary, from a forwarding and logistical point of view, or more broadly in order to meet our foreign trade and transit needs, this is an opportunity for the sustainable development of port services. In terms of both spatial organization, quality of service, price rationalization, or simply understanding of the expectations of the shippers and shipping market. The current degree of containerisation of our transport is still so low, that the convergence mechanism observed since our entry into the EU, resulting at a rate of containerisation growth exceeding the rate of GDP growth, will secure the supply of containers to all our terminals.


Can Poland or our ports dominate container market in the Baltic Sea basin?


I would like to reassure our Baltic neighbours that they are not threatened by our container domination. The potential of ports is a outcome of the level of economic development and its openness to international trade. In our case, it is strengthened by a convenient location, advantageous for the development of the so-called transit transshipment services. Most countries treat ports as objects of strategic importance for the national economy, and the Baltic sea is the intersection of lines of various interests. The planned investments will undoubtedly strengthen our position as a major transshipment country and secure the interests of our foreign trade, because we shall have not only one, but a few windows to the world. (pj)




Professor Horst Linde: Container terminal in Świnoujście will fill the gap between Hamburg and Gdansk


There is enough space for a terminal that will fill the gap between Hamburg and Gdansk, and will be able to offer convenient access to the hinterland of western Poland, eastern Germany and regions in southern Europe, says Horst Linde, a member of the Institute of Land and Maritime Transport at the University of Technology in Berlin. 


Prof. Linde, referring to the concept of building a deep-water container terminal in Świnoujscie, among the success conditions mentions, between other things, the necessity to handle large mainline vessels used on the most important overseas trades, and at the same time need to attract deep-sea carriers to Świnoujście.


- This will require very focused marketing activities, positioned around the benefits of direct calls to Świnoujście, as an alternative to, for example, Gdańsk and Klaipeda – stresses Professor. – Especially due to the fact, that ports which already handle the direct calls of large ocean-going vessels will be very interested in maintaining their market position.


Professor adds that the spectrum of interests of the Port of Świnoujście should also include carriers using feeder services of the North Sea hubs, such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, Wilhelmshaven, Hamburg.


"It won't be easy neither," admits Professor Linde. "These ports will certainly make every effort to maintain the services’ loops in the shape most favourable for themselves”.


Fees, access to the hinterland...


According to the expert, a competitive advantage can be built in a number of ways, e.g. through flexible container handling tariff policy, or favorable hinterland access system. Professor stresses the importance of a rational pricing policy, individual rate negotiations, long-term contracts including service level guarantees, etc.


Particular emphasis is placed on access to economically important hinterland, and supply/consumer markets. 


- The advantage of Świnoujście/Szczecin seaports is the access to the Oder river, and possibility of use of inland waterway transport as an economically and ecologically sustainable method of transport – emphasizes the expert from Berlin. 


The Havel/Oder-Kanal taking into account the current state of  navigability and the expected completion of the construction of the new Niederfinow lift, offers excellent access to the industrial areas of Berlin/Brandenburg, and even further to the west, e.g. to Magdeburg, Brunswick, Wolfsburg or even Hanover. 


- Many people I know, who are supporters of inland navigation, expect that once Świnoujście is accessible directly for ocean-going vessels, the transport of containers from Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven, instead of road or rail transport, will move to the aforementioned eastern route - continues professor. - In fact, this is a very significant potential for the terminal in  Świnoujście.




Professor Linde draws also attention to the access to Polish most industrialized regions. This is a further perspective, requiring the restoration of navigability of Oder river on the entire length, the regulation of the river, the construction of dams, etc., and in the longer term the connection with the Danube. Activities in this direction are already being carried out. Before it happens however, the Silesian region will be well connected with the port by the express road S3, and the "Nadodrzanka" rail line.


- Once the functionality of inland navigation has been restored, complemented by rail and road transport, the potential of Świnoujście's hinterland will cover a significant part of the western and southern Poland, including parts of Silesia, eastern and south-eastern Germany, eastern and south-eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. This should be a firm basis for effective competition with Gdańsk and Hamburg and other ports such as Rostock or Lubeck – adds Professor Linde.


Access from the sea


The terminal located in the external port will provide free access for the largest container ships entering the Baltic Sea. In this regard, Prof. Linde’s opinion is in line with the authors of the Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority idea. He also points out that the terminals in Gdansk and Klaipeda are transhipment hubs for feeders in the eastern and north-eastern part of Baltic Sea. The terminal in Świnoujście, with favorable distances, can become a transhipment hub for the Baltic’s north-western part, e.g. Southern Sweden or Denmark.




The expert also draws attention to the new terminal’s infrastructure, automation of processes of handling, internal transport and storage of containers, quality of equipment or quay parameters.


In his opinion, the problem of many ports is the transhipment of containers between ocean and inland vessels. He suggests to solve this problem at the early planning stage. He also encourages the investor to carefully consider the possibility of bunkering containerships in Świnoujście.


There is room for another terminal


Professor Linde believes that the operation of two big container terminals along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea – compared to at least 5 terminals in the southern North Sea range, between Elbe and the Rhine/Meuse/Scheldt – means that there is enough space for the third terminal. It would fill the gap between Hamburg and Gdansk, offering convenient access to the huge hinterland of western Poland, eastern Germany and further areas in southern Europe. Such terminal would be available at relatively short transport distances, and the availability of all means of transport.


"Regardless of the good starting conditions, it shall be expected that Gdańsk and Hamburg will defend their current market position, so it will be a fascinating challenge to operate within this competition", adds Professor Horst Linde. 




Świnoujście. Container terminal – an opportunity for the port and city developent


It will be a modern and environmentally friendly terminal. New road junctions, terminal access system and railway network will bypass the districts of Warszów and Łunowo, to avoid being a nuisance for residents. The connection of the terminal with the hinterland will be divided between the express road No.3, rail and in the future inland waterway transport systems. In the economists’ opinion -  the terminal is needed! Container delivery already accounts for more than 60% of global transport, and the Baltic area has been showing  record growth for years.


There’s about 3 million TEU per year handled in Polish ports presently. In all Baltic ports this volume already reaches 8-9 million TEU. Experts predicts that in 15-20 years the number of containers in Polish ports will reach 8 million TEU  - as many as in all ports in the Baltic Sea area currently. At present growth dynamics in a similar time scale, these volumes in the Baltic Sea basin will double to more than 15 million TEU.


Experts say: YES!


Prof. Dariusz Zarzecki, an economist at the University of Szczecin points out, that the mentioned 3 million TEU in fact were handled in the ports of the Tricity, especially in Gdansk. The construction of a deepwater container terminal in Świnoujście will change this situation.


Does this project have an economic rationale?


"Definitely yes," says the economist. Deepwater container terminal fits perfectly into market expectations. And the example of Gdansk is the best confirmation of how quickly a port with a low initial number of container volumes can become one of the European leaders.


- Container volumes in this port in 2019 compared to 2007 increased by astronomical 2039.5%, moving Gdansk to 15th place on our continent – reminds professor.


The expert points out that the western geographical location of Świnoujście distinguishes that port from other Baltic competitors.


"This is the shortest maritime route from Central and Eastern Europe to Scandinavia," says Professor Zarzecki. - The container terminal in Świnoujście may certainly be an important place for handling of goods sent to and from the East German provinces and the Berlin metropoly, as well as the southern Poland (mainly Wielkopolska and Śląsk) the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is also obvious that large mainline container ships entering the Baltic Sea, choosing port of Świnoujście located closer, instead of ports of Gdansk or Gdynia, will save both time and money. According to the expert, the economic advantage of the new terminal in Świnoujście may prove to be deciding in taking over existing, as well as acquiring new container transports.


Ocean ships sailing through the Danish Straits, choosing Świnoujście instead of the ports of Tricity will gain 11 hours one way, both ways would save practically full day. In the ship's operational expenses account, for shipowners this means savings of between $120,000 and $150,000 per trip. These are very strong arguments for investors. 


The sense of the project is confirmed by Prof. Horst Linde, a former employee of the Institute of Land and Maritime Transport of the University of Technology in Berlin.


-The operation of one large container terminal located at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, compared with at least 5 terminals in the southern North Sea between the Elbe and the Rhine/Meuse/Scheldt rivers means, that there is enough space for the next terminal, in Świnoujście, points out a maritime transport expert from Berlin.


According to the Professor, the terminal in Świnoujście will fill up the gap between Hamburg and Gdansk and offer convenient access to the wide hinterland of Western Poland, Eastern Germany and areas in Southern Europe. Such terminal will be available at relatively short transport distances, and the availability of all means of transport.


- Particular attention should be paid to direct access to the Oder Waterway system, i.e. inland waterways and the possibility of transferring cargo from road/rail to waterways – emphasizes Professor Horst Linde. - Industrial areas in Upper Silesia will be accessible in a more sustainable way than from Gdansk, and access toBerlin/Brandenburg may be better than from Hamburg.


Jerzy Wójtowicz, President of C.Hartwig Szczecin, a forwarding and transport company active on the international market for several decades, has emphasized the necessity to build a deepwater container terminal for years. Global transhipments in all ports exceeded 790 million TEU. According to the calculations of the various institutions, the growth rate in the coming years will remain at 5%, which means a global increase in container volumes over 5 years by around TEU 240 million. Port development plans indicate that they will be able to handle additional 125 million TEU. What about the potential of 115 million TEU?


The question is rhetorical, especially that – as the businessman points out, the Baltic region is the growing faster, and the increases of container volumes will be even higher here.


The infrastructure first


Świnoujście is a specific place, where the port coexists with the city and spa area. Local authorities, sanatoria and resorts owners do understand the need and benefits of economic development. However, they want to be absolutely sure that port investments will not disrupt the sustainable development of the area, will not disturb the peace of the local community, nor will they harm their tourism and spa businesses.


Therefore, in projects such as the future container terminal, it is fundamental to have the proper port communication and access infrastructure developed.


Łukasz Lendner, Director of Szczecin branch of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA), assures that the development of expressway and motorway network is progressing on time, and that the investments which are carried out will significantly improve the road connection of Świnoujście with the rest of the country and the south of Europe.


- Next year commencement of construction works on the new, two-lane expressway S3 directly at Świnoujście area is planned. Part of that investment is to create a Łunowo junction, which in future shall provide access to the container terminal, and junction for LNG terminal - informs the Director. He adds that the location of road corridor was consulted with the local residents, many suggestions were taken into account, and all transit traffic will bypass residential areas.


Last August GDDKiA have signed contracts for the construction of S3 sections: Świnoujście-Troszyn according to the “design and build” formula, the value of the investment is more than PLN 1.5 billion. According to the plans, in 2024 the expressway, with two lanes in each direction is to be ready on the entire length, from Świnoujście to the Czech border.


Lendner adds that it is planned to complete a network of expressways in West Pomerania (S3, S6, S10 and S11) by 2030.


Railway companies’ investments are in place too. PKP PLK SA is modernizing the railway network in both ports, Szczecin and Świnoujście already. 


- This is an investment for PLN 1.5 billion – informs Ryszard Magdziak, deputy Director responsible for investments in PKP PLK SA. The Director also recalls the modernized railway lines: Szczecin-Świnoujście, and E59 to Poznań. There’s also perspective of modernization of CE59 line (so-called Nadodrzanka), connecting the capital of Western Pomerania with Silesia. Feasibility studies of the various stages of that investment are created.


All these infrastructure investments are already being made. Let's add very important modernization of the Szczecin-Świnoujście waterway with a value of PLN 1.4 billion implemented by the Maritime Office in Szczecin, and investments adapting the internal berths of Szczecin port to the new parameters for a total of PLN 700 million.


Delivery by water, road and rail


Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority in mid-April will open offers of parties interested in designing, building and then operating of a new container terminal in Świnoujście. According to the plan, the project can be completed by the end of 2024. At the moment the container terminal in Świnoujście is launched, all access and communication infrastructure will be ready, and the diversification of transport routes will enable fact, that additional truck traffic caused by the operations of the terminal will not be noticed by the inhabitants of Świnoujście and tourist.


This can be confirmed by simple mathematical simulations. Assuming annual volumes at the terminal at the level of 1.5 million TEU (equivalent of 20-foot container) - in a month the average turnover shall amount to 125 thousand TEU. Due to the operation of the transhipment hub, approximately half of that volume should be taken over by maritime transit (ship to ship). Therefore about 62,5 thousand TEU per month will be left for inland haulage. If we assume an equal distribution of the 20 and 40-foot containers in circulation, we get about 42 000  containers per month, counting in pieces. It can also be assumed that 60% of this quantity (25 200  units) will be transported by truck transport, and the remaining 40% (16 800) will be taken over by rail.


Of the 25,200 containers per month, the daily average is 840 vehicles, which means 35 trucks per hour. That number of trucks for the collision-free two-lane S3 expressway, bypassing housing areas – is practically no burden.


It is worth adding that the port investments stimulate the development of infrastructure of the whole region, and both the expressways to Świnoujście and the tunnel under Swina River will definitely improve the comfort of driving. We will also commute to Świnoujście by train faster and more comfortably, because the modernization of rail lines means benefit not only for cargo related services, but also for passenger trains.


Competitors do not sleep


All serious players are aware of the potential of the container Baltic market. For example, the Hutchison Group (operating also at the Port of Gdynia), last year launched Port Norvik in Stockholm with a deep-water quay with draft over than 16 m, for 400-meter vessels. 


Investments in this area are announced by the ports of the Gdansk Bay. Gdynia, which already includes two container terminals in the inner port, is planning a new one - in the external port. Gdańsk DCT operates in the North Port on two quays and is also planning the third phase of terminal expansion.


Offers can be submitted until April 15th this year.




Modern container terminal in Świnoujście


Through modern infrastructure and port availability on one hand, and modern technologies, integrated digital systems such as Port Community System - on the other hand, deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście, will combine all functions and build competitive quality. In order to handle goods  quickly and efficiently.


On the shipping market we have been seeing a trend of building larger and larger ships for a long time already. For shipowners, the reason is obvious – the effect of scale works in their favor. Higher payload, lower unit cost of carrying the cargo. Let us remind, that we transport more than 90% of our goods by sea. And another important factor – more than 60% of the total world's cargo is transported in containers already.


Ports are working within this interconnected system and they have to adapt the infrastructure, quays, waterways’ depths to the needs of these large vessels. They must also ensure that all stakeholders of the transport chain are able to operate at the terminals quickly and efficiently. The stakeholders’ profit is inversely proportional to the time of the cargo, the container spends in the port!


Digitalisation and automation


–  There  is no escape from digitalisation and automation of cargo handling today – emphasizes Andrzej Zelek, president of The Polish PCS, a company that runs a pilot program to automate clearances at container terminals in Poland. -– The solutions of port community system type that we are introducing are already used in majority of big ports around the world. 


Without the digitalisation of transport processes, none of ports or terminals will be able to compete successfully. Integrated digital systems eliminate thousands of activities that require paper, e-mails, human and  authorities’ work. By using them, we eliminate these activities, save the time of these processes participants in ports, and thus save our Customer’s money.


More efficient, faster...


The world is already using similar solutions. Large ports, such as Rotterdam or Singapore have shortened logistics procedures from few days to several hours, and in some cases even to an hour. Such digital system solutions under different names are used in Hamburg, Antwerp, Trieste or Odessa. 


- Port environments do not differ from other areas of life – admits the President of the PCS. – For parties of port processes, data streams have nowadays turned into seas of data. The dispersion of various systems used by stakeholders, efficiency of all the processes, and shortening of the time the goods stay in the port, requires an integrator. And that's the role of neutral information sharing platforms like Port Community System. 


Efficiency is competitiveness!


The added value of the future container terminal in Świnoujście is the fact that already at the design stage, digital systems aimed to integrate container handling processes can be introduced here. 


- Thanks to that possibility, the new terminal in Świnoujście can show its innovative potential already from the start – emphasizes Andrzej Zelek.


There is no doubt that digitalisation and automation have become an integral part of innovation, without which ports cannot function today in order to keep pace with competition. 


It is equally obvious that with the modern infrastructure of deep-water terminal in Świnoujście, improving port processes will increase the handling potential. And faster and more efficient clearance of each container gives tangible results. All modern ports of our world point to these benefits today. 


Offers can be submitted until April 15th this year.




Strong entry of the Oder estuary ports to the game for containers


There is no doubt that the deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście fits perfectly into the expectations of the market. This important project will contribute to radical increase of Szczecin-Świnoujście port complex rank in container traffic in the Baltic Sea region, strengthen the economy of the region and increase Poland’s attractiveness as a place of investment.


In 2019 3.05 million TEU were handled in Polish ports (1 TEU = equivalent of 20ft container). This is the best result among the countries located in the Baltic Sea region. Russia (2.54 m TEU), Finland (1.61 m TEU), Sweden (1.60 m TEU), Denmark (0.87 m TEU), Lithuania (0.70 m TEU), Latvia (0.47 m TEU) and Estonia (0.22 m TEU) were next. 


This shows both the size and strength of the Polish economy and the modernity degree of  our container terminals. It should be noted, however, that this undoubted success is the exclusive effect of terminals from the Gdansk Bay area, since in Gdańsk as many as 2073 thousand TEU were handled, and in Gdynia 897 thousand TEU. This means that volumes handled at these two ports account for as much as 97.5% of entire container throughput in all Polish ports. Szczecin-Świnoujście port complex reported 76 thousand TEU, which is only 2.5% of the total Polish port’s volume. This is caused by lack of large terminal here, which would be able to compete with the Gdansk Bay ports. The internal terminal in the port of Szczecin, with one berth available, can provide capacity up to 100 thousand TEU. It can even be said, that currently ports of Western Poland do not count in the game for containers taking place on the Baltic Sea.


Fortunately, there are indications are that this situation is about to change, and that the ports of the Oder estuary will join the fight for the increasing stream of containers appearing each year in the Baltic Sea area. Thanks to the investment in a deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście, where the largest ocean container ships will be able to call. The designed external port will be able to handle up to 2 million TEU per year.


This brings the natural question: will port of Świnoujście be able to handle so many containers? The answer is yes. As Krzysztof Urbaś, President of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority points out, in 15-20 years the volume of containers in Polish ports can increase to 8 million TEU. This would mean an increase of 167%. Taking off from a very low base, the Oder estuary port complex, including a modern deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście, has a chance for fantastic, extremely dynamic development.


The example of Gdansk shows how quickly a port with a low number of containers handled can become one of the European leaders. Container volumes increased in this port in 2019 compared to 2007 by astronomical 2039.5% moving Gdańsk to 15th place on our continent. None of Europe's top 15 container terminals has achieved an equally spectacular increase. Piraeus showed the second best performance in terms of dynamics during this period (311.5%), followed by Antwerp (45.0%), with a combined 29.0% increase in the top 15.


The success of the Port of Gdańsk is of course, caused by its favorable location, but also due to the investments in modern port infrastructure enabling calls of large container ships, and their fast and efficient handling. Similar to Gdansk, such dynamics may also be the case of Świnoujście, which from other Baltic competitors is distinguished by the most western geographical location – this way runs the shortest maritime route from Central and Eastern Europe to Scandinavia. The container terminal in Świnoujście will certainly be an important place also for handling of goods sent to and from the East German provinces and the Berlin metropoly, as well as southern Poland (mainly Wielkopolska and Śląsk), Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is also obvious that large container ships entering the Baltic Sea, choosing shorter way to port of Świnoujście instead of Gdansk or Gdynia, will save both time and money. This economic advantage of the new terminal in Świnoujście can prove to be decisive in taking over existing, as well as acquiring new container transports.


There is no doubt that the deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście fits perfectly into the expectations of the market. As shows the experiences of the recent past, life does not tolerate a vacuum. During the time of the Polish People's Republic, the ports of the Oder estuary handled a large part of the transit from the former Czechoslovakia, Hungary or Austria. The lack of investment in modern infrastructure has resulted in the acquisition of these cargoes by other ports, mainly German (mostly Hamburg) and Gdansk Bay ports. This important project will contribute to a radical increase in the rank of the Szczecin-Świnoujście port complex on the container map of the Baltic Sea basin, will strengthen the economy of the region and increase the attractiveness of Poland as the place for investment. Professor Dariusz Zarzecki, University of Szczecin




Container terminal in Świnoujście. Sustainable development of the Port and City!


The concept of an external port complex consisting of deep-water container terminal, general purpose terminal and an existing gas port is a new vision of the sustainable development of Świnoujście, both in the economic, tourist and spa areas. Basing on this project, Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority aims at developing the area of socially responsible business.


It is difficult to compare ports in Shanghai, Singapore, Busan, Hong Kong, Baltimore, Rotterdam, Copenhagen or Sydney. Each of the Asian container mega ports handles more containers than all the Baltic ports together. However, regardless of the scale and geographical specificity, it can be understood that their growth is based on synergies and development activities in many areas. 


Many of these ports create added value by taking advantage of the location and tourist value. Port of Ningbo, for example, is an important place for inland navigation – it uses a location in the Yangtze River Delta. And the largest South Korean port of Busan uses its tourist advantages. Operating on a completely different scale (around TEU 3 million per year), the Turkish port of Ambarli is using its commercial and cultural potential with access to the Marmara Sea, the Golden Horn or the Black Sea. Amsterdam successfully combines commercial and tourist functions. In the Baltic area, it is worth taking a look at Copenhagen. Danes very skillfully use coexistence of their largest port and beautiful city on many levels.


Port and the city


Sustainable, simultaneous development in many areas, which many modern economists perceive as a responsible form of business, addresses economic, environmental and social aspects, and can be seen as a common denominator of development for these different and specific ports of an often incomparable scale of activity.


In order to ensure multi-directional development, the Management Board of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority, is preparing its vision of the future, which has completely changed the perception of the city. This is no longer a city seen through an internal bulk terminal and ferry base, or a gas port point of view.


- Our vision of Świnoujście includes re-modelling of the internal and external port – explains Krzysztof Urbaś, President of the Management Board of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority. - In the external port we see at least three terminals: the current LNG terminal, container terminal, but also general purpose terminal (on the pier, east of the container terminal). That’s the general purpose terminal where we would like to transfer the activities of the current internal port.


This will free the spa area of the City of Świnoujście on the left bank of Świna River from all the nuisances caused by the inner port. In these areas, the Port Authority intends to create facilities supporting handling of containers, logistics centers, warehouse parks, areas dedicated for companies involved in the distribution of containers, in short: a clean, green port. 


- We would like to create symbiosis with the city, sustainable development for the benefit of everybody – emphasizes Krzysztof Urbaś. - That is possible. An example would be city of Gdynia, where new housing districts are built in the immediate vicinity of the port, around bulk terminal. And there are people willing to buy these houses and live there.


Sustainable transport


The use of many different modes of transport is also part of that sustainability. The developed multimodality of transport corridors: expressways, rail connections and inland waterway transport possibility, ensures that the hinterland connections are adequately deployed. Intermodal transport, on the other hand, allows goods to be transported in a way that limits the environmental impact to minimum.


All these goals can be achieved through the investments that have just been started: the construction of the last sections of the S3 expressway connecting Świnoujście with the Czech Republic and then Central Europe, modernization of the railway network in both ports’ and the railway line CE-59 (so-called “Nadodrzanka”), dredging the water way Świnoujście-Szczecin to 12.5 m, modernization of the port quays to new parameters, and in the long term upgrading navigability of the Oder River with the construction of a canal connecting with the Danube.


Offers can be submitted until April 15th this year.




Świnoujście. The terminal  will handle up to  2 million containers per year!


The deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście will not only be able to accommodate the largest ocean container ships. The proposed  external port will be able to handle up to 2 mln  TEU per year.


- The economic effect of the deep-water container terminal, which will be able to handle the largest vessels entering the Baltic Sea through the Danish Straits, is obvious to us – emphasizes Krzysztof Urbaś, President of the Management Board of Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority. – The proximity of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Eastern Germany, Berlin and Brandenburg Region means that our ports of Świnoujście and Szczecin will provide the possibility of the cheapest sea delivery for these areas, providing a transit gateway for the hinterland.


The President picks out also the point, that mainline ocean ship sailing through the Danish Straits and calling Świnoujście instead of the ports of the Gdansk Bay would save about 11 hours of steaming each way, which means that both ways they can save practically a day. For Shipping Lines - in the voyage expenses account of that ship's size, this means savings of between $120,000 and $150,000 per each call.


- These are very strong arguments for investors who respect money, and keep the investment risks to a minimum - he adds.


Deep-water port complex


- Is this container cake big enough for everyone? This is often a question – admits President Urbaś. - But in fact, we have answered it a long time ago, and now we are in a completely different place. We have reached a decisive stage. We are waiting for offers of entities interested in the implementation of our deep-water container terminal concept, and its operational management. Moreover, in response to market expectations, we have extended our vision to include a universal terminal, which will complete the concept of a comprehensive external port in Świnoujście, together with LNG terminal.


There shall be enough containers


Going back to the container market, the President recalls, that there are about 3 million TEU per year handled in Polish ports presently. Taking in consideration all Baltic ports, this volume amounts already to about 9 million TEU per year.


- According to the experts’ forecasts, in 15-20 years the number of containers in Polish ports can reach 8 million TEU annually – continues Krzysztof  Urbaś, President of ZMPSiŚ. – The conclusion is clear, we are not dealing even with half of this potential at the moment.


As for the  Baltic area, analysts' forecasts for a similar time horizon indicate an increase in container volumes to around 15 million TEU per year.


 - "The dynamics and growth forecasts seem to force the investment and preparation of our ports to support the potential of these 8-9 million TEU in a period of 15-20 years" emphasizes the President. "Especially due to the reason, that in our port complex we do not have a large terminal that could count in this competition yet. The terminal in Szczecin, with one berth and capacity of about 100 thousand TEU per year is a different scale”.


The President also recalls what was once  the domain of Polish ports: the transit cargo from the former Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria. Today, these bulk and general cargo loads are part of the hinterland handled mainly by the port of Hamburg. It is estimated that this port handles around 1.5 million containers to/from western Poland and central Europe area, south of our borders.


- For this market we want to compete with a new terminal - emphasizes Krzysztof Urbaś.


Competitors have an eye on it too


All serious players are aware of the potential of the Baltic container market. The Hutchison  Group for example (active among others also in the Port of Gdynia), launched Port Norvik in Stockholm last year with a deep-water quay with depth of more than 16 m, for 400-meter vessels.


Investments in this area are announced also by other Polish ports. Port of Gdynia, which already includes two terminals in the inner port, plans  a new one - in the external port. DCT Gdańsk operates in the North Port on two quays and is also planning to implement the third phase of terminal expansion.


Offers can be submitted until April  15th this year.




Świnoujście. Intermodality is one of the cornerstones of the container terminal  concept


Without the synergies provided by the combination of rail, road and inland waterway transport, it is scarcely possible to meet competition and customer expectations in contemporary market conditions while maintaining high environmental standards. Therefore, in the case of container terminal in Świnoujście, intermodal will be the mode of transport that shall mainly connect the terminal with its hinterland.

The intermodality of transport in the concept of a deep-water container terminal in Świnoujście is obvious – admits Krzysztof Urbaś, President of the Management Board of the Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority. - We closely observe the transport market, legislative changes, dynamics, and analyze market trends. We are aware that intermodal transport is imminent and basically a necessity. We are also aware of the importance of environmental aspects. That is why we are already focusing on infrastructure investments, in order to be able to benefit from the full chain of the greenest mode of intermodal transport when the terminal is completed. Therefore, we are already adapting the infrastructure of the ferry terminal in Świnoujście to support intermodal transport. The ferry terminal is located in the immediate vicinity of the future container terminal and will offer that kind of services as early as next year.


Intermodal trends and ecology


In global maritime transport the changes are dynamic, significant increase in the size of ships among other things – and in consequence larger parties of containers handled in ports at each ship’s call. We also note the increasing importance of intermodal transport chains. Containers along ocean routes are shipped between sea ports, than they are moved to railway trains, and then onto trucks - to reach the final consignees.


The use of intermodal transport is an excellent solution used in the sustainable maritime supply chain: environmentally friendly, cost-effective, helping to reduce traffic on the roads. The Highway Code rules for loads transported in the intermodal system allow for a higher maximum mass of the vehicle for the 'last mile' section, allowing intermodal deliveries of heavier freight units than it is possible along the road transport route only. The container terminal in Świnoujście also gives the possibility to use inland waterway transport, which is the cheapest and greenest mode of transport. The planned revitalisation of the Oder Waterway is an opportunity for the recovery of this mode of transport for delivery between the seaport and its hinterland. The terminal in Świnoujście, with convenient access to the Oder Waterway, the international railway line and with a smooth road connection will give the opportunity to effectively connect all available modes of transport.


It is the synergy resulting from the combination of maritime, rail and road transport that makes delivery cheaper on the one hand, and greener on the other. As a result of the intermodal chain - containers or semi-trailers are increasingly delivered using ecological methods of transport, and to a lesser extent – just the road transport. As a consequence, the traffic at roads and highways gets easier, gas emissions into the atmosphere are reduced, etc.


Rail chain 


As part of the investments included in the intermodal transport project, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. improve and modernize the railway infrastructure of the ports in Szczecin and Świnoujście at the cost of PLN 1.5 billion. They will modernize nearly 100 kilometers of tracks, along with almost 84 kilometers of traction power network. As many as 285 rail crossovers will also be replaced, modern traffic control systems will be installed, and 22 road crossings rebuilt. In Szczecin, they will rebuild a bridge over the Parnica River and 3 railway viaducts. According to the schedule, the work is to be completed by mid-2022.


Another investment of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. will be the modernization of the international railway line CE 59 (so-called Nadodrzanka), connecting Świnoujście with Lower Silesia and further to the border with the Czech Republic, which is a connection of the ports with Central and Southern Europe. The investor will adapt the tracks to longer and heavier trains and speeds of up to 120 km/h.


Road chain


The ports of Szczecin-Świnoujście are connected with the European motorway system via A11 and A20 highways, while expressway S3 (E65) will connect Świnoujście with the Czech border as early as in 2024. 


Inland waterway transport chain


The Maritime Office in Szczecin will complete the dredging of the canal between Świnoujście and Szczecin to 12.5 m next year. That modernization will cost about PLN 1.4 billion, and is very important in the context of the inland waterway transport chain.


The Oder Waterway (E30), included in AGN convention, will be gradually modernized as a water route of international importance, in line with the government's strategy of improving the parameters for navigation on Polish rivers in the long term


Offers can be submitted until January 28th, 2021



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