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Latvia's new grain harvest is sailing from the port of Riga to Saudi Arabia

Today, one of the largest Panamax-type grain carrying bulkers serviced in Latvian ports is leaving for Saudi Arabia from the Riga Port’s grain terminal Alpha Osta. The vessel MARIA, which is 225 meters long and 32.3 meters wide, will deliver 71 thousand tons of the new grain harvest of Latvia. Such a quantity of grain can be transported to the port either by 3550 trucks or by 1180 railway wagons.  

Reception and servicing of vessels of such size at the port during the grain season requires both a powerful shipping infrastructure - an appropriate shipping channel and berths, as well as extensive road and rail service capacity, as the terminal has to service a large number of transport units in a short time. Currently, only the Port of Riga and its grain terminals are able to provide efficient services to large bulk carriers in Latvia.

The port companies need not only modern port equipment for fast and efficient service of vessels, but also sufficient grain loading and storage capacity. That is why the port companies relentlessly develop the infrastructure for transshipment and storage of agricultural products by building new and modern grain warehouses at the terminals and by investing into new technologies and equipment.

Grain cargo is one of the fastest growing segments in the Port of Riga in the last ten years. Since 2010, the turnover of grain products has increased by an average of 21% per year. A particularly rapid increase in grain volumes was registered last year, when 2.07 million tons of grain were handled at the port terminals, reaching an increase of 33% compared to the previous year. Taking into account the forecasts of Latvian farmers regarding the new harvest and favorable weather conditions for harvesting, an increase in grain cargo turnover is expected in the port of Riga this year as well.

Grain produced by Latvian farmers is exported by sea from the Port of Riga to various countries of the world. In 2019, half of all grain shipments was shipped to Nigeria; grain cargo was also shipped to Ghana, Turkey, South Africa, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt and ports in European countries.

Currently, very active acceptance of grain cargo from trucks and railway is taking place at the terminals of the Port of Riga. 11 port companies on both banks of the River Daugava are ready to receive and handle grain cargo at the Port of Riga during the current season. According to the data provided by the port companies in 2020 the total grain handling capacity of the Port of Riga – i.e. the storage and handling capacity of all port companies – has reached 7.3 million tons per year. That means that the companies of the Port of Riga still have sufficient unused capacity for handling and processing of additional grain cargo.