Sartori & Berger offers a complete range of integrated services for the shipping and transport industry. The company was established in 1858 and expanded to Poland in 2015.
What motivated Sartori & Berger to establish a presence in Poland ?
We came across many articles about the maritime development in Poland which really drew our attention. When clients started asking about our presence here we decided to take on the opportunity and established an office in 2015 in Gdansk, since 2017 we opened an office in Szczecin as well.
So far we can say that Poland delivered on its potential, year on year we achieve new records. In 2019 the Port of Gdansk handled the first time in the history over 50 million tons of cargo, an increase of approximately 3 million tons compared to 2018.
Your portfolio of services is very broad, can you briefly explain which of them apply to the Polish market?
We started from zero but now we have a really wide range of activities here. As a port agency we handle vessels coming into the port so that they can load/discharge the cargo, organize involved services like pilots, tugboats, arranging the berth and custom declarations of goods.
Energy wise, we cooperate with energy companies, support companies and shipowners, taking care of their vessels, crew and handling offshore logistics. And on top of this we provide a great deal of knowledge and experiences from other offshore projects in Germany in the Baltic Sea and North Sea. We have had quite a few meetings with authorities and shared ideas about how to best prepare ports to accommodate the offshore wind farming sector.
There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding offshore wind, do you see this as an opportunity for Sartori & Berger?
There are indeed many opportunities in the offshore space moving forward, however, there are also some challenges. Polish ports are not yet prepared to handle wind farm installations - we need for instance new facilities to store large parts such as turbines and blades.
Discussions and plans are ongoing but I am not sure things are progressing at the right pace. First production for offshore wind is expected in 2025 - if Polish ports are not ready soon we will have to start looking at countries such as Denmark, Germany as alternatives.
The government has declared its commitment to offshore wind energy and recently released a draft bill. Do you believe that this will be enough for the development of the industry and to reach first production by 2025?
An open commitment of support from the government is surely helpful but it must be accompanied by concrete actions. Attaining all the necessary permits to start construction remains a real challenge for companies, they will need to push more to accelerate the process if we are to meet this goal of first production.
There are also many other unanswered questions. For example, the export/import customs declaration and procedures in order to find the most efficient way to deal with. Our main goal is to find the most convenient and cost efficient solution for our clients. We are trying to answer these questions through discussions with authorities and we try as much as possible to leverage our experience in Germany and help out.
Given the circumstances what objectives are you prioritizing at Sartori & Berger in the coming 2-3 years?
We remain optimistic and believe that the developing offshore industry in Poland will bring in a huge scope of work. Larger ports are developing infrastructure for installation purposes, but smaller ports are also expanding activities in terms of accommodating the supply chain of the offshore wind farming industry. This means that there is more opportunity, and maybe a challenge, for us to cover all the ports in the country.
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