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Norway’s southernmost traffic port – an environmentally friendly transport hub

    The port of Kristiansand

    Kristiansand harbor is the southernmost traffic port in Norway, closest to Europe and centrally located on the coast of southern Norway. A natural logistics hub that links western and eastern Norway, and is a natural extension of E39 to Denmark.

    In a series of articles, we highlight the Norwegian maritime industry, what role it plays, what it can offer, and how it should make logistics more sustainable by moving more goods from road to the sea. We started our journey in Tromsø. This time we have moved all the way south to Kristiansand, and have a chat with the Port Director at Kristiansand Harbor, Halvard Aglen.

    Read: 69 degrees north

    Attends unloading with the new crane

    The port ensures regional business

    Agder is Norway’s most significant export county for processed goods. Major exporters are located close to the port. There is trade-balance across the quay, which means there is a balance between export and import volumes.

    “A well-functioning traffic port is essential for the region, and we work hard to ensure proper services “
    Halvard Aglen, Port Director Kristiansand Harbor

    Glencore Nickelworks, Elkem, and Voss water are some of the largest customers in the Port of Kristiansand. The first two, import raw materials and export finished products over the quayside. They are less than five kilometers from the harbor. Voss Vann has its most extensive customer base abroad and transports goods directly from the factory to the ports by freight train and from there on with boat on export.

    «An environmentally friendly transport hub closest to the market.»

    The existing strategy plan was adopted in October 2013 and extends to 2025. Work on revising the strategic plan and setting the direction for the future is ongoing these days.

    “We’ve had a long-term had a goal to further develop the port of Kristiansand as an environmentally friendly transport hub. Now we want to establish even more goals and plans that contribute to a more sustainable transport sector.”
    Halvard Aglen, Port Director Kristiansand Harbor

    -Moving transport from road to the sea is in itself a step in the right direction. We are working to offer zero-discharge solutions, which make sea transport even cleaner. We have come a long way in providing shore power connections for cruises, ferries, and offshore vessels, and are now also working with shore power for container traffic. We believe this will be an offer that both shipping companies, owners, and residents will appreciate.

    Shore power plant Kristiansand Harbor

    -We are also participating in projects that aim to establish the harbor as an energy hub for our city. Electric buses, private cars, and other vehicles will be able to take advantage of the infrastructure promise made in the harbor. In this way, we can utilize the energy supply that the ships and coastal power plants require, even when the ship traffic does not need it, Halvard comments.

    Route Map

    The port is a logistics hub and offers many fixed freight routes. From Kristiansand port, the cargo can reach as many as 27 ports domestically and abroad (See the list of ports below).

    Route map, The port of Kristiansand

    There are routes with ViaSea (Rotterdam and others), Unifeeder (Rotterdam and Hamburg and others), Baltic Line (Turku and others), MSC (Antwerp and others), Scan Shipping (Swinoujscie and others), DFDS Seaways (Zeebrugge and Immingham and others) and Norlines / Samskip (several Norwegian ports, in addition to Lithuania and Poland).

    Shortsea Schedules from the Port of Kristiansand

    AntwerpenGdyniaKlaipedaSt. Petersburg
    Brevik HirtshalsSandnesÅlesund


    Traffic figures

    Kristiansand harbor is a medium-sized harbor that handles all types of goods. The types of products consist mainly of the container, wet and dry bulk, cargo and ferry goods, as well as project cargo. In 2019, the port handled 51,323 TEU’s equivalent of 470,694 tonnes of freight through the container terminal, 240,020 tonnes above the bulk/cargo terminal, and 379,835 tonnes of cargo over the ferry terminal.

    Container loading
    Photo: Port of Kristiansand

    In addition to the fixed freight routes, the ferry connection to Hirtshals has a strong position in Kristiansand. The ferry connections carry almost as much freight as the container terminal. The ferry connections make the port an essential part of the Jutland Corridor towards Europe.

    What does it take to move more goods from road to sea?

    National goals exist to move freight from the road to the sea to create a more environmentally friendly transport industry. We challenged Halvard to share his views on what he thinks is needed to move more goods by sea. Halvard focused on four issues:

    • Sea transport users must offer door-to-door solutions that make it easy and seamless to choose the sea route.
    • Higher public investment to support the ambitious national goals of the greener transport industry.
    • The shipping companies should work to link the established national transport lines to ensure more efficient transport from A to Z.
    • The product owners must require their freight forwarders to use the most environmentally friendly routes.
    Halvard Aglen
    Port director at the Port of Kristiansand

    Quick facts about the Port of Kristiansand

    • Contributes directly and indirectly to 12,000 jobs in the region
    • 1,900 ship calls per year
    • 1,247,526 ferry passengers travel through the harbor
    • 51,323 Containers (TEUs) per year
    • Handles 240,000 tonnes Bulk / Break-bulk