The Baltic Sea is only accessible through the Strait of Oresund, which gives opportunities for transshipment due to the limited container volumes involved and its lack of appeal for large-scale deepsea services. Transshipment is mainly assumed by Hamburg and Bremerhaven, which are usually the last ports of call for deepsea services towards Europe. However, their volumes have stabilized and even declined in recent years.
St. Petersburg is Russia’s most important port, acting as its commercial gateway, but trade sanctions imposed in 2013 and the Ukraine war of 2022 have been associated with a notable decline in traffic and its associated transshipment activities upstream. Gdansk emerged as a gateway to Eastern Europe as well as a transshipment hub servicing the Baltic. As its volumes increase, it becomes an increasingly attractive proposition for deepsea services, implying that transshipment is shifting towards the Baltic. Gothenburg is acting as Sweden’s gateway and handles limited transshipment volumes. Other ports in the Baltic are small feeders since there are few direct services out of the Baltic.