Scandlines down

Baltic ferry player Scandlines has watched passenger and vehicle numbers drop in 2008 as economic woes hit home in the second half.

It said it carried 17.3m passengers last year, down 3%, and 3.6m cars, a fall of 3.4%.
The owner also transported 1.1m trucks and trailers, down 1.6%, 84,200 railcars, a dip of 1.5%, and 68,700 buses and coaches, a decrease of 8.6%, on its nine Baltic Sea routes.

“In the first half of 2008, we were still able to increase our transport results in all the important market segments – despite the start of the economic slowdown and the huge rises in oil prices,” boss Michael Hassing said.

“From the summer, it became clear that the financial crisis would also impact on our strongest routes between Germany, Denmark and Sweden, as well as the services to and from the Baltic States. The development of our freight connection between Rostock and Hanko was positive, however.”

Scandlines has already scrapped its Arhus to Klaipeda ferry service as a result of the tougher trading climate, as well as reducing capacity between Rostock-Gedser and Rostock-Ventspils.

The company added: “The further decreasing industrial and consumer goods production will in particular affect freight traffic with the Baltic States but also with Scandinavia this year. Scandlines expects continued growth on the new freight route between Germany and Finland.”

Hassing said: "We will carefully observe the market development and take suitable measures to allow us to quickly and flexibly respond to our customers' demands. At the same time, it is our goal to further increase the efficiency and profitability of our shipping company.”

trade winds