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The emergency situation has not brought about any significant changes in cargo handling at the Port of Riga

Within two weeks since the state of emergency in Latvia has been declared and various restrictions due to COVID 19 spread have entered into force, all due services have been provided to 119 vessels, which have called the Port of Riga, with a total of 908,000 tons of various cargoes handled.

Cargo flows are transported both by sea and by road, i.e. by trucks and rail wagons - 20 300 road transport units and 6 300 railway wagon units have been used for reception and delivery of cargo at the Port of Riga since March 13.

“This is a complicated time all over the world. In today's crisis we are more than ever aware of the importance of having such a transport hub like the Port of Riga. Our priority right now is to maintain a constant and uninterrupted port operation, of course, with all security measures in place to maximize the protection of port workers from COVID19. The port is working and we are constantly monitoring the situation in the cargo segment in order to be able to respond to the trends that may arise due to various restrictions, implemented in the world, and if necessary be able to adapt the financial plans of the Freeport Authority to the new circumstances”, says Ansis Zeltins, the Freeport of Riga CEO.

At the same time, in spite of the current challenges in the sector, a new type of cargo has arrived at the Port of Riga this month - since March, the “KS Terminal” has started transshipment of bulk cement. On March 26, the specialized vessel “Greenland” with bulk cement cargo has called the port of Riga for the second time. Due to closed automated handling equipment on board the bulk cement is handled in an environmentally safe mode, preventing dust from entering the environment. In addition, the ship is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), which makes it even more environmentally friendly.

“According to our plans the LNG vessel “Greenland”, carrying an average of 3.5 thousand tons of cement, will call the Port of Riga regularly, 2-3 times a month. Despite the crisis caused by COVID-19, for the time being, the arrival of the vessels is proceeding as planned and we have not received any news of changes. As for the other types of cargo - “KS Terminal” currently operates in normal mode and everything is being implemented in compliance with the agreed plans. However, we shall take into consideration the fact, that the situation can change at any moment,” comments Eriks Ceseiko, Chairman of the “KS Terminal” Board.

The Freeport of Riga is the largest port in Latvia and the second largest port in the Baltic States, handling 22% of the total cargo volume of the major Baltic ports in 2019. Approximately 200 private merchants operate at the Freeport, including 35 stevedoring companies - freight terminals, which together provide around 5,000 jobs.