The Polish Coast: The World’s Doorway Into the 3 Seas Initiative

The Port of Gdańsk, as the leading container terminal on the Baltic Sea, is slowly becoming a key transport hub in the development the 3Seas Initiative (3SI). In fact, the entire Polish coast, with its key transshipment ports. is turning into a so-called Northern Gateway.

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view on port in Gdansk in the evening
The Port of Gdansk is a key transport hub in the Three Seas Initiative. Courtesy of DCT Gdańsk

The Polish coast is becoming increasingly more crucial to the connectivity of Central and Eastern Europe and for strengthening economic cooperation within the 3SI. This is an opportunity for Poland, which in the future will bring tangible economic as well as political benefits, increasing the importance of the country in the international arena. In Warsaw, of course, there is an awareness of new opportunities and prospects for development. Hence, investors have been pouring large-scale investments into the Baltic port infrastructure for a long time. These investments are already beginning to show results.

Investments, which began even before the pandemic, placed the Port of Gdańsk firmly in first place in the ranking of container ports in the Baltic in the first quarter of 2021. The difference was stark: in total, in the first quarter of 2020, the Port of Gdańsk handled over 11.3 million tons of goods, and in the first quarter of 2021, it was already 13.3 million tons. This means an increase of 17.8 percent year on year. From January to March 2021, the port handled 39 percent more liquid fuels and 53.7 percent more grain than in the same period in 2020. The Gdańsk container terminal is also ranked first in the container ranking. The second is in St. Petersburg. Third in line is another Polish port: the Port of Gdynia.

Synergic investments in port infrastructure on Polish coast

The upward trend is clear, so Poland is going with the flow. Investments will not stop at the Gdańsk port center. The aim of Polish efforts is a continuous and compatible development of the infrastructure, where each center complements the others and increases the total handling capacity, which will also positively impact the economy of the entire northern area of Poland.

Other investing plans include:

  • building an External Port in Gdynia to enhance the capacity of the Port of Gdańsk
  • construction of a deepwater container terminal in Świnoujście
  • the Vistula Spit Waterway – an essential project, especially in the current geopolitical situation, allowing shipping from the port of Elbląg without entering the territorial waters of the Russian Federation, which will encourage the development of not only the port of Elbląg but also the entire north-eastern region of Poland,
  • deepening the waterway in the Szczecin harbor to 12.5 m, which will enable the navigation of ships with a larger draft.

The investments in the Port of Gdańsk alone are estimated at ca. PLN 14 bln and are planned for ca. ten years.

Jakub Warzecha

Creative copywriter, archaeologist. Interested in history, technology and military matters. Specializes in marketing communications and application architecture design.

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