The port of Drammen

Publisert: 13. 11. 2006.

The port is controlled by The Port Authority of Drammen, a non-profit making harbour authority owned by the municipalities of Drammen, Lier, Røyken, Hurum og Svelvik. The Port Authority offices are located in the Tangen area of the port.

A natural harbour with a long tradition
Local people will tell you that Drammen was created by the river, and there is no doubt that Drammen’s location has made it a natural harbour for many centuries

The Vikings used Drammensfjord nearly a thousand years ago as a route for bringing in the plunder from their foreign raiding trips. The sagas written by Snorre Sturlasson describe how the they sailed their longships up the fjord Drofn, as it was called at that time.

Settlement

It was not until the 14th century that a permanent settlement was established along the estuary of the Drammen river, simultaneously as the harbour developed into a proper commercial centre. It was considered an ideal harbour for the export of timber, which was floated down the river and loaded into ships at Tangen.

Timber exports

Drammensfjord became Norway’s principal gateway for timber exports, and by the middle of the 17th century it was exporting twice as much cargo as Christiania (the former name for Oslo) and the same amount as all the other Oslofjord ports. Shipping traffic was at an all time high.

Towards the end of the 18th century paper and pulpmills began to spring up on both sides of the river, generating a whole new export trade.

Drammen acquired other industries, including a glass factory, an iron foundry and a brewery. The former two disappeared many years ago, but the Aass Bryggeri (Aass Brewery), founded in 1834,continues to flourish and has the distinction of being Norway’s oldest brewery.

Junction

Drammen has been an important railway junction for many years, giving the port a vital transport link with its hinterland. The Randsfjord Line was opened in 1868 and Drammen was connected to Oslo by 1870. The bridges which take the railway across the river in Drammen are the longest railway bridges in Norway.

Business

The Port of Drammen is an old port with a modern outlook. The Port Authority is a nonprofit-making harbour authority which was established as long ago as 1735 to adminster the Port of Drammen.

Over the past 100 years the port and town have changed. Most of the papermills closed at the end of the 1960`s and Drammen has aquired new types of business, such as electronics, food-industry, printing, road-transport and the service-sector. In the port, the emphasis has moved from exports to imports - containerized cargo and new cars.

The layout of the port has changed too, with much of the new cargo-handling activity being focused on the island of Holmen, where deepwater berthing is available. It is a curious fact that, since the last ice age, the island has been rising by 4 mm per year, so that what was littlemore than a few bumps in the estuary back in the 15th century has become a substantial island in the 20th century. In modern times Holmen has been expanded still further by means of reclamation in order to create a perfect terminal for handling large vessels and all types of goods.

Environmental discount

In 2016, a discount for environmentally friendly ships with fewer emissions than required by today’s IMO standards will be introduced.
Ships registered in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) that score at least 25 ESI points, receive a 30 % discount on normal quay charges.
This discount is only applicable for calls made within the validity period of the ESI certificate, and the ESI registration must be indicated on the ships ́s notice of arrival. 
Total discount on quay charges may not exceed 50 %