Increased volumes in a weak market
Despite the continuing weakness in the market, CMP increased its freight volumes by 2.3 per cent in 2013. We are proud of this increase, especially considering that we have again bucked the trend and grown at a time when the majority of ports in our region have lost volume. The growth in 2013 confirms how important it is to have a broad, diversified business. CMP is a full-service port that can receive more or less all types of vessels and goods. This is a great competitive advantage, which makes us less vulnerable at times when market growth is weak.
Continuing positive trends
RoRo is among the areas with the best growth in 2013. It is especially pleasing that Finnlines, which is one of CMP’s biggest customers, increased the volume of their RoRo traffic between Malmö and Travemünde. Here we can also see that the trend continues to be positive, enabling growth in RoRo to continue in 2014. Dry bulk is another area that grew, partly through the ongoing metro project in Copenhagen, which increases the need for typical dry bulk products like filling material. At the same time, our expansion continues at Prøvestenen, where new areas for dry bulk are being completed and new customers are gradually moving in. The metro project also benefits us in other ways. There is a great need for storage areas for things like prefabricated components and machines, which has enabled us to expand our hire business in 2013. This also applies to our property portfolio, where lettings had risen to 95 per cent by the end of the year.
We can also look forward to new customers in our car business in Malmö. This is Scandinavia’s biggest centre for car imports. The cars are unloaded in Malmö and prepared for delivery to a final destination in the Nordic area, the Baltic region or Russia. With the new collaboration added in 2013, CMP now has 17 different makes of car as customers in Malmö.
During the year we were also recognised for the quality of our work in the car business. The demand for quality is extremely high in this business and it is important for us that our efforts should be rewarded. The Japanese shipping company NYK Group Europe was behind the award, which CMP received for the second year running. Our damage frequency in car handling is 0.003 per cent of handled volume in our loading and unloading operations. Considered internationally, this is a very competitive figure.
New cruise ship terminal
One of our biggest investments is the new cruise terminal in Copenhagen, which was completed in all essentials during 2013. The facility will be opened in May 2014 and will be able to receive three cruise ships at the same time. On the new cruise ship quay there are three permanent terminal buildings, which will greatly improve service, comfort and quality in this activity. Cruises are one of our most successful areas and it is important that we should now move further ahead – especially considering that cruises benefit both CMP and the city of Copenhagen, as tourism from cruising generates considerable income and many job opportunities in the tourist industry. We usually say that Copenhagen is Northern Europe’s biggest cruise destination – and also the most rewarded! This is also true of 2013, when we received a number of awards, for instance for “Best Turnaround Operations” and for “Best Turnaround Destination”. This further confirms the high quality we offer in the field of cruising – and that was before putting the ultra-modern facility in Copenhagen into operation.
The year 2013 also marked the first year of cruising in Malmö. The background to this is that the Spanish shipping line Pullmantur moved its cruise destination from Copenhagen to Malmö. This investment involved the opening of a cruise terminal in Malmö during May. Through this traffic – amounting to 32,000 passengers in 2013 – CMP can now provide an interesting complement to Copenhagen.
Last but not least, I would like to report on the collaboration begun with the port of Visby. The aim is to develop the medieval city of Visby as a cruise destination, where CMP’s long experience will certainly be useful. This collaboration will also help to improve our turnaround traffic in Copenhagen as in the long term we will be able to offer customers two cruise destinations in the Baltic region.
Infrastructure in the centre
Besides developing our own business, the infrastructure relating to the ports is a priority area. There must be sufficient capacity in road and rail transport and modern traffic solutions to provide the necessary accessibility and efficiency to facilitate goods traffic. In the light of this, we welcome the investment in infrastructure that is taking place in Malmö, for instance around the Spillepengen motorway junction, which will improve access to Norra Hamnen. Similarly investments in rail transport in 2013 have resulted in marked improvements in rail traffic to this part of the harbour. In Copenhagen, access to the new cruise ship terminal at Nordhavn is being improved through investments in the local roads. In the longer term we also hope for even more investment in rail transport, which will become increasingly important for CMP.
On the subject of investments, I would also like to mention the SEK 260 million which Malmö City Council will be investing in Norra Hamnen. This is for an extension to be carried out in stages over the next ten years, which will include landfill, new ground installations and the building of new streets. This investment underlines the fact that both Malmö City Council and CMP have great belief in the idea that the Northern Harbour will be a transport and logistical hub for the Baltic Region.
The extension of Norra Hamnen is also one of the reasons why work on sales and marketing is being intensified within CMP. Increasing volumes in these ultra-modern facilities is an obvious priority for us and has led us to invest more skills and resources in sales. A major reorganisation was undertaken at the turn of the year 2013/2014 with the aim of increasing the emphasis on sales. The boundaries between sales and day-to-day operation have been made clearer, which will boost our marketing activities. To support this we have also created a new key account manager position, which will chiefly improve the way we deal with international companies wishing to set up in Malmö. We are aiming for growth in a number of different business areas.
At the same time we are working to raise productivity in CMP. We have already come part of the way and are now more efficient compared with a few years ago. In concrete terms, this means that we are producing more per employee than previously, which is positive. However, we must take this work further and increase productivity even more in order to meet our targets for long-term growth. In order to achieve this, we are putting a lot of effort into involving all our employees in the work of development, for instance through active dialogue about the targets and guidelines that govern us. To help us in this, we have what we call dialogue meetings, in which all the employees participate, plus M/S Progress, which is our common improvement and development tool – a tool that helps us to set targets and follow up on the improvement activities that will enable us to achieve our targets.
High quality and service
Finally I would like to return to the matter of quality and emphasise how proud I am of the results we are achieving. And the fact that this concerns different areas – in which the notion of quality can be very different – makes the whole thing even more impressive. It is one thing to deliver high quality customer service to shipping companies and cruise passengers and quite another to achieve high quality in the loading and unloading of cars. We perform at the highest level in both these areas. This is a good result for our dedicated employees, who are proud of doing a great job every day. We will continue to improve quality at CMP. Bearing in mind the excellent results we already achieve, I am sure that we will be able to move forward even further in these areas too.
CEO, Copenhagen Malmö Port