The Port of Esbjerg, located on the west coast of Jutland, is set to benefit from an approx. 55% increase in German road taxes at the turn of year, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen. In addition, the port has announced that two new routes will open in 2009, one of which will be operated by the Norwegian shipping company Sea-Cargo.
Since last year, Sea-Cargo has been sailing between Bergen (Norway), Stavanger (Norway) and Esbjerg, and from 1 February 2009 the shipping company will extend the route to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, thereby making Esbjerg one of its hubs.
Jens Peter Nielsen, head of Sea-Cargo's office in Esbjerg says: "We are focusing on attracting trailer traffic, which can avoid the congestion in northern Germany. At the same time hauliers will avoid the German road tax which will increase to 55% from the new year and that is vital for their business economies."
From 31 January, Esbjerg will also gain a route to the Faroe Islands and Iceland when Smyril Line starts operating from the port. Smyril Line, which hitherto has been operating from Hanstholm further north on the coast, will sail from Esbjerg for nine months of the year. For the remaining months, the shipping company will continue to sail from Hanstholm. The vessel on the route has space for 130 trailer units and 1,500 passengers.
Søren Clemmensen, head of sales for the Port of Esbjerg told Børsen: "The Amsterdam route can ease the most strained infrastructure in Europe and will be interesting for both the Netherlands and western Germany - and that is without competing with our existing route to Zeebrügge [Belgium], from where most cargo continues further south. It is also very good news that Smyril Line is coming to town. Now the routes can stimulate each other and synergies can occur, which can result in new things happening."