Water Transport

All water industry was concentrated on the Baltic sea cost.

The importance of the port increased significantly in the second part of the 16th century – grain, flax, hemp, linseed, leather were exported from here to Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and Germany.

The port of Dane was used predominantly till the middle of the 18th century. In the second part of the 18th century the export of new goods (which were shipped even to England), timber and woodenware in particular, were of utmost importance to the development of maritime trade activities in Klaipeda. Nearly 400 vessels visited the port in 1768.

At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century the construction of the southern jetty was underway. The northern jetty was built consisting of two parts: the first part was the 940 meter length quay reinforced with stones, and the second part was 2.5 meter wide and 2 meter height (above water level) jetty projected into the sea by 460 meters. The southern jetty was extended several times. In 1855-1872 the Winter Harbour was built.

In order to ensure safe navigation in darkness, the lighthouse of Klaipeda was lighted up on 1 September 1796. In 1819 the lighthouse was heightened and a new system of flashlights was installed. Since then the light of the beacon was seen from the sea at the distance of more than 30 kilometres.

When Klaipeda region was retrieved after the uprising of 1923, the activities of the main port of Lithuania intensified significantly. While in 1923 only 652 vessels entered the port and 667 vessels left it, after 15 years in 1938, 1,544 vessels entered the port and 1,563 vessels left it. During the period from 1923 to 1939 the port was visited by the vessels from 47 foreign countries. The cargo volumes also grew continuously: 438,000 tons of cargo were brought in and 156,000 tons were brought out in 1928, while 1,112,839 tons of cargo were brought in and 420,444 tons of cargo were brought out in 1938. 80 percent of country‘s export and 70 percent of its import fell on Klaipeda port.

In order to speed-up the stevedoring operations 4 new portal (self propelled) cranes were procured, and the old crane with lifting capacity of 35 tones was equipped with new electric motor, several new warehouses were built beside the port quays. The biggest warehouse of the total area of 32,000 m2 belonged to the company ‘Lietukis’.

After the World War II the port of Klaipeda was rebuilt. The number of foreign vessels visiting Klaipeda was also increasing continuously: only 7 vessels visited the port in 1951, while in 1964 the number of foreign vessels reached 860. The first Soviet Union coal sorting and handling facilities were built in the port of Klaipeda where all coal sorting and handling processes were mechanized and automated. The first tanker with fuel oil left the port in November 1959.

International sea ferry Klaipeda-Mukran started to operate in 1986. Identical sea ferry terminal was erected on the Rugen island, the territory of the former German Democratic Republic. Similar port equipment was installed at both ports enabling very fast boarding of more than 100 wagon train onto the ship. The Lithuanian Shipping Company founded in 1969 already had 40 vessels in its disposition in 1982 carrying cargo to the most distant places of the world.

Last updated: 21-08-2015