A key area in which Kärnebro says there is potential for development is the port's arrival procedure: “It is extremely important to retain our position as the largest port in the Nordic region. But this requires clearer collaboration and more extensive sharing of information between the members of the port cluster and the vessels arriving at the port. I am currently investigating how we can encourage all those involved to pull in the same direction even more and improve communication before the vessel arrives. If we can achieve this then we can reduce the lead times.”
Shipping has throughout history been a male-dominated industry and this remains the case even today. At the major ports in Europe and in other parts of the world, Åsa Kärnebro is unique as a female Harbour Master. Åsa does not feel that this should come as a surprise: “I understand that it may appear unusual. But I've been in this industry since I was 16 and in many of my previous positions in shipping I was the first woman to be appointed. Having said that I know from experience that there are many people in the industry who are keeping a close eye on me.”
Moreover, the Port of Gothenburg is set to expand with the construction of a new terminal at the outer port area. It is the largest expansion project at the port since the 1970s. The terminal will be built using dredging spoils and is expected to be completed at some point after 2020. The maximum draught for vessels calling at the terminal will be 11 m. This means that traffic will probably take the form of intra-European freight transport – either as a final destination or to the major trans-shipment hubs in northern Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium for onward movement to various parts of the world.
The area will be 220,000 m2, equivalent to 30 football pitches. The cost of the investment is expected to be in the region of SEK one billion.