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The Warsaw Voice » Other » July 29, 2009
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Poland's Maritime Sector
July 29, 2009 By A.R.    
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Statistics show that the maritime sector is still a vital part of the Polish economy.

According to data by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), in 2008 Poland's seagoing and offshore transport fleet had 149 ships with a total deadweight capacity of 2.61 million metric tons and a gross tonnage of 1.94 million. Of this, 123 vessels with a deadweight capacity of 2.61 million tons and gross tonnage of 1.93 million were seagoing transport vessels, while 26 ships with a gross tonnage of 4,500 formed the offshore fleet. At the end of 2008, there were 18 ships sailing under the Polish flag (14.6 percent of the total number of vessels), representing a total deadweight capacity of 32,600 tons and a gross tonnage of 46,000. Furthermore, Polish shipowners and operators ran two seagoing vessels leased from foreign ship owners, with a total deadweight capacity of 21,200 tons and a gross tonnage of 15,700.

The seagoing fleet operated by Polish shipping companies transported 10.48 million tons of cargo last year, 8.6 percent less than in 2007. The seagoing fleet took 6.6 percent less freight out of Polish seaports, and brought in 0.5 percent less than last year. A total of 225,800 tons was transported between Polish ports, a drop of 4 percent compared with 2007.

In international passenger traffic, 933,700 passengers were transported in 2008 (a drop of 5 percent), accounting for 99.8 percent of all passengers carried by seagoing vessels, while 1,900 passengers were transported between Polish ports. Ferry passenger transport (including truck drivers) dropped by 5.2 percent, while transport by other ships grew by 11.1 percent from 2007.

Cargo handling in Polish seaports in 2008 totaled 48.8 million tons, or 6.9 percent less than the year before. Four ports did most of the handling: Gdańsk (35 percent), Gdynia (26.3 percent), Szczecin (15.9 percent), and ¦winouj¶cie (18.1 percent). Dry bulk goods accounted for the largest share of handled freight, at 40.9 percent (coal and coke-14.8 percent), and liquid bulk goods accounted for 28 percent (oil and oil products-23.7 percent).

A total of 47.8 million tons of freight was handled in international maritime trade, which was 7.3 percent less than in 2007. In international traffic in 2008, the share of different regions in Polish ports' total cargo handling was as follows: Europe-75.8 percent (European Union-63.8 percent), the Americas-15.1 percent (North America-9.3 percent), Africa-5.5 percent, and Asia-2.6 percent.

A total of 762,900 passengers arrived at Polish ports as part of international traffic in 2008, which was 7.9 percent less than in the previous year; 764,800 passengers sailed out of Polish ports, or 9.8 percent less than the year before. The greatest number of passengers were transported in connections with ports in Sweden-76.9 percent, Germany-11.8 percent, and Denmark-10.7 percent.

Last year was a year of decreasing shipbuilding output. Twenty ships were made with a total capacity of about 337,500 DWT, 10.3 percent less than in 2007, while their gross tonnage of about 493,800 marked a 14.4-percent drop from 2007. Container ships accounted for 35 percent of total shipyard output, while 25 percent were car carriers.

The Polish fishing fleet numbered 836 vessels in 2008 (34 fewer than in 2007), their total gross tonnage being 41,000 (31.5 percent more than in 2007) and their total power equaling 99,100 kW (10.6 percent more than in 2007). The fishing fleet comprised 634 fishing boats, 198 cutters, and four distant-water trawlers. A total of 123,900 tons of fish and other marine organisms was caught in 2008 (7.1 percent less than in 2007). Almost 80 percent of the hauls came from the Baltic Sea and lagoons; 94,400 tons of fish was caught in the Baltic, 12 percent less than the previous year. Distant-water fishing reported hauls of 29,460 tons, 15.1 percent more than the year before.
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