2017 was yet another good year for the Port of Aalborg group, resulting in an overall profit of DKK 35 million. At the same time, Port of Aalborg succeeded in maintaining 2016’s record level of turnover in 2017, namely around DKK 200 million.

- The profit for the year meets our expectations, so both management and the board of directors are well satisfied, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, chairman of the board of Aalborg Havn A/S and Mayor of Aalborg, and he continues:

- In recent years, Port of Aalborg has worked with a strategy model we call ‘The Intelligent Port’. An intelligent port is not merely a well-run business. It also benefits its surroundings by close collaboration with companies and institutions that depend on the port’s services and location. We are finding that both new and existing clients are using the port of Aalborg more and more, both for our logistics solutions and for our specialist expertise. And this tells us that we’re on the right track in transforming from a traditional port into a knowledge and development business.

The development of the port of Aalborg is of benefit to the entire region. According to a study conducted by the Danish trade organisation for commercial ports, Danish Ports, 12,000 jobs and well in excess of 100 companies are either directly or indirectly dependent on Port of Aalborg.

Highest cargo turnover in nine years
Cargo turnover in 2017 paints the same positive picture. The volume of cargo for the year rounded 3.10 million tonnes, which is a rise of more than 6% compared with 2016. This makes 2017 one of the years in which we handled most cargo overall at the port of Aalborg, only surpassed by the 3.16 million tonnes and 3.13 million tonnes handled in 2008 and 2006, respectively. If we include the volume of cargo handled at the port of Aalborg Portland, total cargo turnover at Aalborg’s ports amounts to 5.5 million tonnes in 2017.

On the other hand, the container business recorded a slight decline of 1.4% and the number of ships calling at the port of Aalborg fell to 1,101 in 2017, compared with 1,169 in 2016. However, there is a good explanation for this:

- The number of ships calling at the port fell slightly compared to 2016. This is partly due to the fact that fewer containers are being shipped to and from Greenland than previously. It is also due, in particular, to the fact that clients are increasingly using larger and larger ships. However, the overall picture is positive and is evidence that the business sector in North Jutland is well on track, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.

2017 was also a record year for cruise ships. No fewer than 35 called at the port, carrying 31,500 passengers.

Flourishing freight line
The year’s top performer is the freight line, with a significant increase in arrivals at the port in 2017. The combination of the new freight line set-up with DB Cargo and the existing traffic resulted in 158 trains, with 1,045 wagons, passing through the port of Aalborg in 2017, compared to 27 trains and 598 wagons in 2016.

- The positive trend continues for the freight line. In 2017 alone, we moved 55,000 tonnes of freight on the line, which is the equivalent of removing around 2,800 lorries from the roads. We believe that, in time, there’s potential for up to 300,000–500,000 tonnes a year. We’ll therefore continue our efforts for the freight line unabated in 2018, says Claus Holstein, CEO of Aalborg Havn A/S.

Organised management of risk
Sustainability continues to be a major area of focus for Port of Aalborg. Since 2010, environmental and climate activities have been organised in an environmental management system, certified by DNV according to ISO 14001. However, during 2017, Port of Aalborg worked intensively to implement a new management system for managing risk in a broad sense.

- We’re extending our environmental management system to include quality, environment, risk management and CSR. We're currently in the process of implementing it for employees, and we expect the new management system to be certified according to ISO 9001, 14001, 31000 and 49001 as early as the summer, says Claus Holstein.

Investment growth
The healthy annual result for 2017 means that Port of Aalborg now has equity totalling DKK 517 million, a large part of which is earmarked for ongoing investments in growth-oriented projects. There were more new buildings and conversions in 2017, and an option agreement was signed for future sale of the development project Stigsborg Waterfront. In addition to contributing to development in postcode area 9400 Aalborg with Stigsborg Waterfront, Port of Aalborg is involved in two other urban development projects: Aalborg Waterfront in postcode area 9000 and Cool East in postcode area 9220. The port will continue its focus on future-oriented CSR and construction projects in 2018.

- The business sector in North Jutland is experiencing growth, and there’s a high demand for both office premises and storage facilities. We’re currently working on several construction projects in the East Port, and the first major project – a 4,000-square-metre storage facility – will be ready mid-2018. This will be followed by a widening of Tranholmvej, and we’re looking forward to being able to give both existing and new clients at the port even better working conditions, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.

Aggressive budget for 2018
However, Port of Aalborg does not rest on its laurels.

- We have a clear growth strategy, and we’ve prepared an aggressive budget for 2018, focusing on strengthening our top line. It’s our vision, through investments in new facilities, partnerships and knowledge, to generate growth together with our existing clients and business partners in postcode area 9220. We also believe that this is the way to attract new operators to the port, Thomas Kastrup-Larsen concludes.

For further details, please contact:

  • Mayor of Aalborg and chairman of the board of Aalborg Havn A/S: Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, +45 9931 1500 or tkl-byraad@aalborg.dk
  • CEO of Aalborg Havn A/S: Claus Holstein, +45 9930 1501 or ch@aalborghavn.dk
  • Press Service (including photos, text, etc.): Maja Thordahl Schou, Communication Consultant, +45 2261 8308/+45 9930 1528 or mts@aalborghavn.dk