The Szczecin and Swinoujscie Seaports Authority SA became the port authority for the Port of Szczecin in 1996. This public entity is responsible for managing port infrastructure and property, planning and developing the port, building and maintaining port infrastructure, acquiring new areas for development, and providing services for users of the port. Earnings are used to manage, construct, maintain, and modernize port infrastructure.
The Port of Szczecin and the Port of Swinoujscie are critically important to the Polish economy. They are also the closest ports to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and eastern Germany. They are also on the shortest route linking Sweden with central and south Europe and linking Russia and Finland with Western Europe. The Port of Szczecin serves regular traffic with Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and Great Britain in Europe and with China and West Africa.
In the 2006-2007 shipping season, 4619 vessels entered the Port of Szczecin carrying 4.2 million tons of cargo. Major cargo groups included general cargo, coal, iron ore, bulk, grain, and timber.
Steel products are exported all over the world through the Port of Szczecin from Poland, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Other general cargoes moving through the Port of Szczecin include paper going from Finland to Germany, granite imports from South Africa into Poland, and wood products going from Southern Europe to Scandinavia.
The Port of Szczecin maintains a storage area covering 15 thousand square meters for 800 TEUs of containerized cargoes, and it can handle up to 50 thousand TEUs per year. It can also handle refrigerated containers in two new warehouses that total 14.7 thousand square meters.
The Port of Szczecin handles a variety of bulk cargo and, with the Port of Swinoujscie, is the biggest service center for dry bulk on Poland’s coast. Major bulk cargoes include coal, iron ore, fertilizers, coke, salt, concentrates, and scrap metal. The Port of Szczecin also handles raw materials for the construction industry including liquid tar and pitch. The two ports combined handle almost half of all of Poland’s coal exports and all of its iron ore imports.
Coal is the major bulk cargo handled in the Port of Szczecin. The Szczecin Coal Terminal has capacity to load a thousand tons of coal per hour, its cranes can lift up to 16 tons, and the receiving area includes storage for 200 thousand tons.
The Port of Szczecin also contains specialized terminals for grains and animal forage. It boasts the biggest grain silo on the Polish coast with capacity for 75 thousand cubic meters. The Port of Szczecin offers grain transshipment, storage, weighing, and drying services. Its total of four silos can store as much as 70 thousand tons.
The Port of Szczecin and the Port of Swinoujscie have duty-free zones where imported goods are traded, processed, or refined. Goods from outside the European Union can be stored here without customs duties or import fees.
The duty-free zone in the Port of Szczecin covers 19.7 hectares and includes five docks with a total length of 1377 meters. Ships of up to 10 thousand DWT with maximum draft of 7.7 meters can berth here. The duty-free zone also contains 60 thousand square meters of storage sites and two storehouses covering 26.2 thousand square meters. The primary goods that are stored include aluminum, cacao beans, and granite blocks.
The Port of Szczecin is connected by road with Berlin and with Europe’s highway network. Also connected to Europe’s inland waterway system, the Port of Szczecin is a popular river cruise destination. In the heart of the city is the Waly Chrobrego Quay, where cruisers up to 215 meters long with draft of 6.5 meters bring passengers to visit the Port of Szczecin. There is also an alternate quay for vessels with draft to 9.15 meters.