100 years of Finnish Ports Association


Finnish Ports Association was established on January 23th 1923, at the Pörssitalo building in Helsinki. 

In the late 19th century, maintaining ports was a municipal responsibility in cities and towns. Ports were among the oldest municipal enterprises, and the revenue they generated played a vital role in the local economy. A significant phase of port construction occurred at the end of the century, coinciding with the rise of steamship traffic and the rapid development of rail transportation.

During the early 1920s, harbor administrations were established in port cities. For example, Helsinki, Turku, and Pori followed the Nordic example by forming their harbor boards, while Oulu and Rauma had their specific harbor committees. This differentiation in harbor administration laid the groundwork for nationwide cooperation among harbor administrations. This development allowed the formation of the FInnish Ports Association as a separate registered organization, distinct from the city Association.

The primary objectives of port cooperation were related to pricing. In the wake of World War I, the transportation tariffs for both goods and vessels varied significantly between different cities. Negotiating harbor pricing and tariffs became a central task for the Finnish Ports Association, continuing until the end of the 20th century.

Upon its establishment, the Finnish Port Association also identified other critical tasks, including the modernization of outdated port legislation, financial relations between cities and the state, examination of possibilities for work division among different ports, and the municipalization of port railways.

The hundred-year history of Finnish ports encompasses wartime challenges as well as a long period of regulated economy when port tariffs were defined under the direction of the relevant ministry upon recommendations from the Finnish Port Association's board. 

The opening of port markets and promotion of competition were driven by Finland's EU membership. As a result of EU membership, the majority of port-specific legislation is now governed by EU regulations. Regulation has increased in the 21st century, with a particular focus on port environmental regulations, port and rail safety, and the acceleration of railway and port service market development, bringing new legislation for port companies to apply.

Today, the Finnish Port Association brings together both sea and inland ports in Finland. The membership includes not only public ports but also significant private ports of the industry. 

100 years celebration dinner 18.4.2023

 Finnish Ports Association hosted a celebration dinner 18th of Aipril to celebrate the centennial year. 

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Finnish Port Days 14.-15.9.

Finnish Ports Association hosted the annual Finnish Port Days together with the port of Naantali 14-15 of September 2023.  The days gathered a total of 230 people coming together to listen interesting presentations and  discussions on current topical issues for the port sector. At the heart of the days was a celebration for the 100 year old Finnish Ports Association. 

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