Rederi AB Gotland’s 145th financial year was eventful and cha- racterised by the major downturn in the world economy and thus also in shipping. The product tanker and ferry/RoRo markets have generally fallen dramatically in terms of freight volu- mes, market rates and the market values of vessels.
Under these changed market conditions, the shipping company’s strategic positioning has been tested and shown to hold water. A fundamental element of the strategy is spreading risk and long- term sustainability. The shipping company’s reduction in ear- nings in product tankers has been noticeable but considerably less than in other parts of the tanker shipping industry. The fer- ry and RoRo traffic to and from Sweden has suffered big volume losses, in some areas between 25 and 40%. It is, therefore, very pleasing that our Gotland service continues to grow. This means that Destination Gotland has beaten volume records every year since Rederi AB Gotland began operating the service under that name in 1998.
Opinions vary on how the world economy and thus the shipping markets will develop in the next few years and there is great uncertainty. Most indicators point to a slow recovery. The market conditions in the next few years are, therefore, expected to remain weak.
Rederi AB Gotland is well equipped for this. With consistent investment in system solutions and state-of-the-art technology and fundamentally solid finances, we are able not only to sur- vive the trials of the recession but also to make use of the opp- ortunities it offers.
The management of Rederi AB Gotland saw a change of watch in the positions of President and Chairman at the start of 2010. Our President and colleague of many years, Jan-Erik Rosengren, retired and we returned as Chairman of the Board of Directors and President, respectively. We would like to express our and the company’s warm thanks to Jan-Erik for his very meritorious work at Rederi AB Gotland during a unique career with the company. Jan-Erik has been loyal to the company since his first day at work as a bicycle boy in 1959.
We would also like to thank all employees for their sterling work during the past year.