Piia Karjalainen appointed as the CEO of Finnish Ports Association 1.2.2024

Piia Karjalainen, 42, has been appointed as the CEO of Finnish Ports Association starting from February 1, 2024. Karjalainen will transition to this role from her current position as the Senior Adviser in Finlands Chamber of Commerce.

Piia Karjalainen holds extensive experience of around twenty years in transport policy, both at the national and EU level. She has worked in the maritime industry, overseeing Wärtsilä's Voyage function in public relations, advocating international maritime legislation, and establishing strategic partnerships. Previously, Karjalainen has contributed to the formulation of national maritime transport strategies at the Ministry of Transport and Communications and worked in the European Parliament in the field of transport, climate, and energy policies. Additionally, she served as the Secretary-General of the international MaaS Alliance in Brussels.

Karjalainen succeeds lawyer Annaleena Mäkilä, who has led the industry association since 2012.

"The diverse expertise of Piia Karjalainen in logistics and advocacy provides an excellent background for the CEO role at Finnish Ports Association," stated Ville Haapasaari, the Chairman of the Board of Finnish Ports Association and CEO of Port of Helsinki Ltd. "We are thrilled to welcome her to lead Finnish Ports Association. At this juncture, I also want to express gratitude to Annaleena Mäkilä for her outstanding work for the benefit of Finnish ports." During Mäkilä's tenure, Finnish ports transitioned from municipal institutions to commercial limited companies while simultaneously advancing the opening of port service markets through EU legislation. This period also witnessed a significant change with the removal of licensing requirements for port operations in Finland. Additionally, during her term, Mäkilä served as the Chair of the European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO), contributing to the understanding of the role of digitalization in reducing transport emissions and the investment needs of ports amidst the economic energy transition.

The importance of ports has been highlighted across the EU due to market disruptions caused by the pandemic in both freight and passenger markets, as well as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Ports' significance as critical infrastructure will be emphasized in upcoming policy actions in the coming years. In the face of the energy transition, ports in the EU, as well as nationally, are evolving into energy hubs and sites for the distribution and production of new alternative fuels. The scope of EU advocacy efforts for ports extends beyond the transportation system itself.

For further information: Annaleena Mäkilä, phone: 050 470 7926; Piia Karjalainen, phone: 050 435 5604.