The Port of Tvøroyri is ready for the next level, offering its services as a growing container port backed by a worldwide infrastructure — with a new port director, vastly improved facilities, and an eye on increasing international trade.
Socioeconomic progress experienced in and around the town of Tvøroyri since the launch of the Varðin Pelagic freezing plant a couple of years ago is seen to have manifold effects on port business and the local economy. As a further result of infrastructure development that has taken place during this period, the Port of Tvøroyri is now looking to present itself as a serious contender among other Faroese container ports.
A newly added deepwater terminal at the Fishing Harbor next to the Varðin Pelagic facility is making life easier for seafood exporters and importers of goods, as cargo handling has become more efficient with added capacity allowing for higher volumes. The 180-meter stretch of dock, 40 m wide, is sufficiently large to make room for almost 300 standard 40-foot containers at the time without disrupting operations.
“Apart from being a port of call for domestic and foreign vessels, Tvøroyri is now a container port in its own right with all the facilities needed for effective and efficient cargo handling,” port director Jón Bogi Guttesen said.
A former sea officer with the Danish merchant fleet and a maritime college teacher in Denmark and in the Faroe Islands, Mr. Guttesen, 35, was hired last year (2014) with a remit to help take the Port of Tvøroyri to the next level.
“This port is in a positive trajectory and we are determined to do our utmost in securing a sustainable advancement for it in the years ahead,” he noted.
In liaison with transport and logistics company Faroe Ship, the Port of Tvøroyri oversees shipments for exports to anywhere in the world, as well as handling import shipments.
Said Mr. Guttesen: “As a regular port of call for overseas container shipping, this port has become closely integrated with the international transport and logistics network associated with Faroe Ship owner Eimskip alongside alliance partners such as Maersk.”
Meanwhile the international trade perspective has grown increasingly prominent at Tvøroyri.
“We understand the Faroese Government is involved in ongoing trade negotiations with various countries including China,” Mr. Guttesen said. “A trade deal with China could become a new driving force for future developments in the Faroe Islands and may well have an impact on port business. Considering the growth in volumes which that could entail, we will need to further up the ante and accept greater responsibility. We’re ready to do our part and comply with all relevant regulations, domestic and international — we’ll see to that both import and export cargo is handled in the best possible way, helping to make sure that the goods retain their value all throughout the chain until arriving at their final destination.”
The port recently invested in a supply station for reefer containers for optimum temperature control to make sure the cooling or freezing chain is never broken from the point of loading a container until the container has been placed on board the vessel.
With Varðin Pelagic’s new terminal hall, cargo vessels are virtually docked next to the cold storage facility, which also helps speed up charging and discharging, even in bad weather conditions.
With the freezing plant’s annual production of nearly 100,000 tonnes of seafood for export, the staggering volumes indeed call for high capacity in every sense of the word.
“The higher frequency of foreign ship calls has made us more experienced in dealing with a mix of ship traffic in our port,” Mr. Guttesen said.
“From being a reception point for a relatively large whitefish fleet, which nonetheless has shrunk in recent years, we now receive calls from fewer but larger vessels. This has been made possible through our new harbor facilities.
“The pelagic fisheries are seasonal and during a certain period of the summer, ship calls are infrequent. This period offers an opportunity to do maintenance on vessels and facilities. This year two cruise ships are expected to call at the Port of Tvøroyri, and the hope is that in future we will receive more such calls. Apart from generating a certain amount of economic activity, these calls are also important for building local experience in the growing tourism business.” While the number of ship calls remained at the 2011 level by year’s end 2014, the total tonnage has been quadrupled since then.
“As we face a growing level of activity the challenge is to make sure our services continue to meet the highest standards of quality.”