Port operations are primarily a municipal concern and are not treated as a distinct part of the national transport system. A clearer and more cohesive role for ports at national level could contribute to greater fulfillment of the Swedish transport policy goals, writes Transportanalysis in a new report.
Swedish port politics is minimalistic, says Traffic Analysis in the report Hamnar i focus. In the EU and many of its Member States, ports have long had a clear role when it comes to transport policies and the Commission has made a number of policy decisions (although often advisory) on how ports should be developed and managed. In Sweden though, it is instead the municipalities that finance, own and manage our major ports, which means that the state’s influence on the planning and development of the ports is limited.
This fact, may, among other things, lead to that the need for investments in ports are being overlooked, the report says. Efforts have been made though. Transportanalysis mentions the preparation for ”hamnutredningen” where the government emphasized that an improved infrastructure for ports should be considered. The Traffic Committee has also expressed the same, but measures and investments have mostly been absent.
Transportanalysis further states that both the government’s maritime strategy, as well as the national freight transport strategy, points out shipping as an important part of achieving an efficient transport system. Thus, the question of the role of ports remains relevant. Stakeholders and representatives of Swedish port operations have in various contexts “called for a more national perspective and more coordination in terms of planning and location of ports”. It may be close at hand to request a state strategic plan for port operations that will be developed in collaboration between the ports and other stakeholders, writes Transportanalysis.
Read the full report here (in Swedish)