Freight Services In Denmark Supported By An Effective Transport InfrastructureFreight Services In Denmark Supported By An Effective Transport Infrastructure

Denmark is a vital hub for international freight and it is supported by an excellent and modern transport system, which is well regarded by shipping companies and freight services companies worldwide. Perhaps the best known landmark of the Denmark transport infrastructure is a remarkable feat of engineering that is a boost to the efficiency of freight forwarding between Denmark and Sweden - The Oresund Bridge. This has the distinction of being the longest combined rail and road bridge in Europe. There are also other important bridges in Denmark that help facilitate effective freight forwarding by shipping companies in the country. These include the Storstrom Bridge linking the islands of Sjaelland and Falster and the Little Belt Bridge that links Fyn and Jutland.

The road system is well engineered and also well maintained right across Denmark, so it is well used by freight services. Many a freight company and shipping company have been pleased by the new train and auto link which connects Sjaell and Fyn. Denmark has over 70.000 km of paved roadways and 900 km of express ways.

The railway system has around 3000 km, of which around a quarter is privately owned. Only the Copenhagen S train network and the mainline Helsingor-Copenhagen-Padborg are electrified at present. All Danish railways are standard gauge, however. In particular, freight forwarders make considerable use of freight transport by train between Sweden and Germany.

As well as the many impressive engineering aspects of the transport system in Denmark, there are also some useful initiatives that make the transport system even more effective for freight forwarders. For example, The Oresunde Bridge crosses the border between Denmark and Sweden but the so-called Schengen Agreement means there are no passport controls. This is a big help for a freight company, saving valuable time and therefore money.

The Danish merchant fleet is also very strong, with over 300 ships of at least 1000 GRT. The majority of these ships belong to the Danish International Registry. This is an offshore registry programme for shipping companies that allows foreign ships to sail under the Danish flag. It is interesting to note that Denmark was the first country to use motor-driven ships and this pioneering approach has set the country in good stead in relation to its freight services infrastructure. It goes without saying that Denmark has many excellent ports and harbours, of which Copenhagen is the most significant.

There are also over 100 airports in Denmark, of which more than a quarter have paved runways. Kastrup Airport near Copenhagen is the centre of international freight air traffic.

This efficient freight transport system is vital because Denmark relies heavily on foreign trade. In the past, agricultural products made up the bulk of Danish exports but for the last 40 years or so, industrial exports have exceeded farm products in importance for freight forwarding.

The principal exports from Denmark are now machinery, instruments, iron, steel and clothing as well as food products, such as ham, pork, dairy products and fish. The United States of America are the largest non European trading partner, accounting for 5% of total Danish merchandise trade. The most important exports to the United States are industrial machinery, chemicals, furniture, pharmaceuticals and canned ham and pork. Meanwhile, aircraft, computers, machinery and instruments are among the major US exports making up international freight to Denmark.

Within Europe, the most important trading partners for Denmark are Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom, so freight transport links are especially strong between these countries, with many excellent shipping companies serving the market.
by Stephen Willis
References and Bibliography
Stephen Willis is Managing Director of RW Freight Services a UK based freight transport company, established in 1971 and operating worldwide freight forwarding services including specialist freight services to and from Denmark
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