Helsinki’s main container terminal was originally located in Jätkäsaari, before its activities were moved to Vuosaari in 2008. A dense urban district capable of accommodating a population of up to 17,000 was planned for Jätkäsaari. Passenger transport activities were to remain there, with the Helsinki – Tallinn ferry links in this West Harbour sector.
However, the volume of traffic and the size of the vessels using the facilities proved bigger than expected, with multiple daily rush hours on the district’s roads. Some 9 million passengers travelled by the Helsinki-Tallinn route in 2017.
To tackle the issue, the City and Port of Helsinki decided to work together to improve the quality of life for residents, without keeping the port and logistical activities competitive, particularly in the West Harbour district.
New roads were added on certain routes for incoming and outgoing traffic. Price incentives were introduced to encourage trucks to use the roads during less busy periods, or to use the port of Vuosaari instead. Smart measures were also introduced, including smart traffic light management and the provision of information to drivers, allowing them to access the port via roads with the lightest traffic. Public transport links, in particular the tramway, were improved for local residents and for passengers, including through the introduction of price incentives for new connections, along with a multimodal terminal for buses in Helsinki. The use of cold ironing facilities will also help mitigate the environmental impact.
A European project known as Twin-Port is being developed for the West Harbour. The budget for the third phase, for the period 2018-2023, is estimated at 71.2 million euros, of which 21.4 million will be funded by the EU. It brings together the City and Port of Helsinki, the Port of Tallinn, and the shipping lines (Tallink, Viking Line, and Eckerö Line).