The Estonian terminal operator HHLA TK Estonia, a fully owned subsidiary of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), is strengthening its position as a RoRo hub in the Baltic region. Finnish ferry company Eckerö Line recently began connecting the port of Muuga, where HHLA TK Estonia operates a multi-function terminal, with Vuosaari in Finland.
Twice daily, the RoPax ferry Finbo Cargo enters the port of Muuga, which is about 20 kilometres east of the Estonian capital, Tallinn. On the Finnish side, Vuosaari – located in the east of Helsinki – is served. The focus of the new ferry connection is on truck and trailer traffic, though passengers with cars will also be transported. The Finbo Cargo has a transport capacity of nearly 2,000 lane metres for trucks, trailers and passenger cars.
Eckerö Line already operates a ferry between the Estonian and Finnish capitals Tallinn and Helsinki. As a result of the increasing flow of goods between the two countries, the shipping company has expanded its services with the new RoPax ferry connection between Muuga and Vousaari. This is expected to unbundle freight and passenger traffic and to relieve urban centres of truck traffic.
The new Eckerö Line ferry connection is the second RoRo service after Tallink to connect Muuga with Finland. Vladimir Popov, CEO of HHLA TK Estonia, sees even further potential: “Muuga continues to develop into a multimodal RoRo hub and is an important component of HHLA’s network strategy.” Truck traffic via Muuga to Belarus, Ukraine and Western Europe has excellent growth potential. Furthermore, the Rail Baltica railway connection from Estonia to the European rail network will have a positive impact on the development of trailer traffic.
Taru Keronen, Managing Director of Eckerö Line: “We see great potential in the route and want to be involved in its development. Our cargo figures have been growing well in recent years, and more and more passengers are taking their cars when travelling to Estonia. We are now introducing a completely new solution to the route, which will accelerate the shift to Vuosaari for heavy traffic and create a new alternative for cargo and car travel,” says Keronen.