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Port of Gothenburg appoints new Harbour Master

azx38h5sqel10hthgg8xThe Port of Gothenburg has appointed a new Harbour Master – Åsa Kärnebro. Åsa has been deputy Harbour Master at the Port of Gothenburg since 2010. In her new position she has identified a number of ways to further strengthen the port’s competitiveness, not only in Europe but also globally.

As the new Harbour Master at the Port of Gothenburg, Åsa Kärnebro has ultimate responsibility for ensuring good order at the port; that vessels arrive and leave efficiently, safely and in a way that is not environmentally detrimental. Her new duties also include representing the port in nautical issues and cooperating with public agencies and shipping organisations in port-related matters.

“It was of course very pleasing and an honour to be approached and the response from colleagues and other people around me has been highly encouraging. I am keen to put together a strong team and continue to develop the port for the future,” said Åsa Kärnebro.

More efficient arrival procedure
A key area in which Åsa Kärnebro says there is potential for development is the port’s arrival procedure.

“It is extremely important to retain our position as the largest port in the Nordic region. But this requires clearer collaboration and more extensive sharing of information between the members of the port cluster and the vessels arriving at the port. I am currently investigating how we can encourage all those involved to pull in the same direction even more and improve communication before the vessel arrives. If we can achieve this then we can reduce the lead times.”

Another important factor that Åsa highlights is collaboration with the City of Gothenburg. She states that a well-founded and fruitful dialogue is important if the port and the city are to develop.

“The Port of Gothenburg has over the years been an extremely important part of the city of Gothenburg. I want to contribute to developing our collaboration even further. It is a great pleasure and a considerable source of inspiration for me to be involved in the work that is taking place in the city to develop the waterfront,” said Åsa.

End of an era for long-serving employee
Åsa Kärnebro will take over from Jörgen Wallroth, who will retire after 22 years as Harbour Master at the Port of Gothenburg.

“During Jörgen’s time as Harbour Master, the Port of Gothenburg has doubled its container volumes and has developed into the large, modern European port that we know today. He has been highly instrumental in this expansion,” said Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg chief executive.

Male-dominated industry
Shipping has throughout history been a male-dominated industry and this remains the case even today. At the major ports in Europe and in other parts of the world, Åsa Kärnebro is unique as a female Harbour Master. Åsa does not feel that this should come as a surprise.

“I understand that it may appear unusual. But I’ve been in this industry since I was 16 and in many of my previous positions in shipping I was the first woman to be appointed. Having said that, I know from experience that there are many people in the industry who are keeping a close eye on me.”

“Ideal for the job”
Port of Gothenburg chief executive Magnus Kårestedt is very pleased with the appointment. She was in fact the main candidate from the outset.

“Åsa was our first choice when we entered the process and she is the obvious successor to Jörgen Wallroth. She has the drive that is needed to further reinforce an already safe, efficient port for ship arrivals and I am convinced that she is ideal for the job,” said Magnus Kårestedt.