THE heart of the city
The Port of Helsingborg
The Port of Helsingborg is a hub for sea, road, and rail traffic. The Port plays an important role within the Swedish business community and is a key player for businesses in Helsingborg with surrounding areas. Our work together with our logistical partners creates a vibrant pulse in The City and surrounding region.
Our main goal is to support and help further develop business opportunities for our customers and the industry as a whole.
The Port plays a key role in the business community, primary as an employer, taxpayer, buyer of goods and services, but also as an important piece of the puzzle that makes up Helsingborg as the best logistic location in Sweden!
The Port is located in the heart of The City with customers and stakeholders operating both within the local and global markets.
The Port has been the most important driver for The City’s development for centuries. The result is that The Port is now integrated into the middle of The City, with some challenges regarding land use, noise, emissions from ships, machines, and traffic to and from The Port. The Port is Sweden’s second-largest container port, which contributes to Helsingborg’s status as the best logistics location in the country.
The Port is of great value, not only for our owners, The City, but also for the business community. The Container Port is an integrated and vibrant segment of the import and export needs for The Region, as well as parts of southern Sweden.
The Port’s contribution to the regional economy 2020 was SEK 9,2 billion, with about 10,000 employees direct or indirect connected to The Port and its operations. The definition of regional economy in this instance is the partner municipalities under the umbrella “Helsingborg Family” which includes: Bjuv, Båstad, Helsingborg, Höganäs, Klippan, Landskrona, Perstorp, Svalöv, Åstorp, Ängelholm and Örkelljunga.
The Port of Helsingborg employs about 200 people, but our business involves many customers with businesses linked to the work that we do, so on the grand scale we are connected to the jobs of about 10,000 people in the region. This includes forwarding companies, 3PL, haulers to mention a few. All this is possible due to their proximity to The Port.
Port of Helsingborg – Our History
From wooden jetty to multiple terminals
A natural harbour or bay have never existed in Helsingborg, it was the strategic location in the strait that was the deciding factor for its position. Until mid 18th century “The Port” was just a wooden jetty that spanned a couple of hundred meters out in the strait and The City of Helsingborg only had 900 citizens.
The illustration shows the expansion of The Port 1809 to 1891.
Historically the strategic location at the narrowest part of the strait have been of significant value for Helsingborg and its trades. Starting in the 900th century, continuing for hundreds of years, Helsingborg was a sprawling trading ground. German and Dutch traders came here and bought herring from the fishermen in Råå and Helsingborg.
Many foregin buyers even had their own herring salting facility in Helsingborg. Trades evolved over the centuries from herring and animal hide to textile and spices.
During the 1980s business was booming in Sweden and Helsingborg. Particularly successful was the chemical, tech and graphic industries, but also the grocery industry saw very bright times. Helsingborg was thriving, the logistic sector took-off as a result of the industries success. The south part of The Port, which was built in 1969 became a hub for the booming trades linking sea and road transports together.
Weekly scheduled container routes were established to Helsingborg and the Scania Terminal located in the South Harbour soon became one of the largest container terminals in the Nordic Region. The Port of Helsingborg became leaders in fresh produce import, and a quarter of all Swedish forest product exports was managed at The Port. Great relationships and networks with large hubs, both within and outside of Europe put Helsingborg on the map as one of the most important logistic hub in Scandinavia.
Over the years, the ferry traffic in Helsingborg has grown and evolved to include modern vehicle and rail vessels. In 1975 the ferries from Helsingborg to Elsinore, Denmark transported 6 million passengers, close to 500K cars, 5000 busses, 34K trucks and full trainsets with passengers. The region had an up-turn, exports increased and the Swede’s travelled more than ever with both, cars, buss, and train. The ferries over the narrowest part of the strait became famous.
The West Harbour was inaugurated in 1985 by our current King, Karl den XVl Gustav and Queen Silvia as part of the 900th anniversary of The City of Helsingborg. The West Harbour is mainly used for unit cargo, i.e. cargo loaded in containers or on trailers.
Port of Helsingborg Limited
1988 is an important year in the history of The Port. That was the year when the privatly owned stevedoring company, Scania Terminal Limited, and the municipally owned part including infrastructure and administration joined forces and established The Port of Helsingborg Limited.
The previous two divisions of operating The Port have a historical explanation. To build and maintain infrastructure, such as a port, was seen as a responsibility of the municipality as it was done in the interest of the business community while loading and off-loading vessels was the cooperation of the shipping companies and cargo owners, and therefore they privatly ran the stevedoring company.
The restructuring in 1988 was primarily done to gain strength in a market that was getting more and more competitive.