2018 was a good year for Port of Aalborg. With a balance sheet total of just under DKK 1.4 billion – which is modest in this context – the port succeeded in generating a turnover of DKK 200 million and an overall profit of more than DKK 58 million. The annual accounts show that tax on net profit for the year amounted to DKK 7.5 million. Thus, Port of Aalborg continues its positive trend.

- We’d budgeted with a profit of DKK 32–42 million in 2018, so we’re extremely content. Property-related activities and non-recurring income were the main reasons for the higher profit this year, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, chairman of the board and Mayor of Aalborg.

Surprising fluctuation in cargo
Budgetary projections for total volume of cargo and turnover in 2018 were close to those for the previous year. They proved to be very precise for the recently approved accounts for 2018, which presented a turnover of DKK 200 million and a total volume of cargo amounting to just less than 3 million tonnes. Similar to previous years, the number of ships calling at the port fell slightly from 1,101 to 1,005. This is due to the fact that the ships are larger and therefore are able to carry more cargo at one time. This is confirmed by the fact that the total volume of cargo remains at the same level as previously.

- At first sight, 2018 was just as we had expected. However, if we go into more detail, there were unusual fluctuations and surprises on several fronts during the year. Some cargo segments have developed differently than expected. This meant that, by the mid-year point, we weren’t able to predict with certainty how the year would end, says Claus Holstein, CEO.

The hottest summer for many years had a massively negative impact on import and export of grain and foodstuffs. On the other hand, we saw an increase in other dry bulk categories. There was also a decline in the cargo segment for liquid products, with increasing import but dwindling export due to a slower market.

Last year’s top performer, rail freight, also faced challenges. An eight-week-long total closure of the track between Hobro and Langå threatened to obstruct the growing alternative to road transport. However, in spite of this, there were 117 arrivals in Aalborg in 2018. This means that the railway reduced the load on the road network by around 2,600 lorries’ worth of freight.

A good year for construction
The fact that profits in 2018 surpassed expectations by far is particularly due to increasing activity in the property sector at the port of Aalborg. This trend is well in line with market trends. In 2018, estate agents in Aalborg sounded alarm bells due to the serious lack of production and storage facilities, and Port of Aalborg clearly felt the demand.

- There was a lot of building activity at the port last year. For example, we built four 2,000-square-metre warehouses. And they were almost snapped up before they were built, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.

Back in 2018, he and Steen Royberg, his partner at commercial estate agents Nordicals Erhvervsmæglere in Aalborg, urged North Jutland’s investors and contractors to invest in new commercial properties rather than private housing. Port of Aalborg is ready to assume its part of the responsibility and expects to spend DKK 150–200 million in 2019 on investments in surrounding areas, among others.

- In 2018, we entered into agreements with a handful of new companies that moved to the port to gain more space. Other enterprises already located at the port are expanding their businesses, both physically and organisationally. Basically, we don’t have any more property to offer at the moment, but, luckily, contrary to other ports and industrial districts, we have room to expand, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.

Companies which have chosen to continue their growth at Port of Aalborg include Blue World Technologies, SDK Shipping, Munck Gruppen, Jørgen Rasmussen Gruppen, Maskinfabrikken Fuglsang, Kærsholm Diamantboring, DHL Global Forwarding and Rolls-Royce Marine.

From classic port to inland port
Aalborg East is an industrial district experiencing explosive growth, and Claus Holstein is convinced that this accelerating growth in property activities at Port of Aalborg is not merely due to a successful year:

- Manufacturing companies needing lots of space combined with logistics solutions are becoming more and more hard-pressed. The port's situation by Limfjorden, with its surrounding open spaces and short distance to both the town and the motorway, make it an attractive location for this type of enterprise. 

Port of Aalborg has recognised the trend and is currently working on a plan for the future, in which ‘inland port’ is a keyword.

- We’ve been transforming the port over the past few years from a classic port to a multi-modal inland port that looks both forward towards the sea and backward to the hinterland. We're still in the start-up phase, but in 2018 we made a breakthrough with the transformation process, Claus Holstein concludes.

Port of Aalborg expects a profit of around DKK 35-45 million in 2019.

For further details, please contact:

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