It will be a historical event when the last ‘Greenland Ship’ departs from Port of Aalborg on Wednesday 26 June. It marks the end of an almost 50-year-long collaboration between the shipping company Royal Arctic Line and Port of Aalborg. Royal Arctic Line will, however, continue to have staff located in Aalborg, who will serve its own and the port's customers at the container terminal and the associated workshop until the end of 2022.

- We have some practical work ahead of us in terms of packing up and handing over the facilities to Port of Aalborg in the agreed condition. However, when the port agreement expires on 31 December 2022, we will continue to have our Danish headquarters in Aalborg with sales, customer service and marine technical and administrative staff, which accounts for around 40 employees, says Verner Hammeken, CEO of Royal Arctic Line A/S.

New port structure in Greenland

Royal Arctic Line has chosen to change its port structure, making the port of Sikuki in Nuuk the shipping company's only base port. At the same time, the port of Aarhus has been selected as the shipping company's permanent port of call in Denmark in the future. Verner Hammeken explains the choice:

- Our VSA partner, the Icelandic shipping company Eimskip, is already established at this port. Furthermore, it is a strategic shift, as Royal Arctic Line is now switching from a concept with a specially designed terminal in Aalborg, which we have operated ourselves, to a general service at a terminal in Aarhus with many existing users.

Focus on strengthening local companies

Port of Aalborg owns the terminal in Aalborg and now changes its strategy as Royal Arctic Line will no longer be a permanent terminal operator. In the future, Port of Aalborg will full focus on serving and strengthening the local business community and goods, which today arrive from other ports in Jutland and Hamburg and depart to all over the world. Most recently, Port of Aalborg announced both nationally and internationally that the port is looking for a new terminal operator who, in collaboration with Port of Aalborg, can and will develop the terminal into a regional multimodal logistics hub.

- In recent years, we have invested in the infrastructure around the container terminal and expanded it significantly, especially considering our train terminal and rail tracks at the port. We have experienced substantial growth rates over the past two years and have seen a clear connection between our rail setup with daily arrivals and the new terminal concept, says Lasse Frimand Jensen, Chairman of the Board at Port of Aalborg A/S.

A long-lasting and good partnership

Now, an era with the base port concept comes to an end, and both parties recognize that it is difficult to know how to finish such a collaboration correctly.

- We have talked things through and have now agreed on an operational agreement for the cooperation to be concluded in a good and effective manner. This agreement allows both parties to move forward in their development while looking back on good cooperation for almost 50 years, says Verner Hammeken, who Lasse Frimand Jensen supplements:

- Even though the base port agreement has now ended, Royal Arctic Line and other shipping companies serving the North Atlantic, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland are still very welcome to pick up and drop off cargo in Aalborg. We are ready with our new terminal set up on January 1, 2023, and will go to market with a very competitive concept and a service that matches the market.

For more information, please contact:

  • Verner Hammeken, CEO, Royal Arctic Line A/S, tel. +299 542107 and vha@ral.gl 
  • Lasse Frimand Jensen, Chairman of the Board, Port of Aalborg A/S, tel. +45 3199 0649 or lfj-byraad@aalborg.dk 
  • Press Service:
    • Aviâja Lyberth Lennert, Deputy CEO, Royal Arctic Line A/S, tel. +299 585747 and avll@ral.gl 
    • Maja Thordahl Schou, Head of Branding & PR, Port of Aalborg A/S, tel. +45 2261 8308 and mts@portofaalborg.com