The location of the Port of Drammen has made it a natural harbor area for many centuries. Learn more about the port’s highlights and history.
The settlement in Drammen startet earlier, but in this period of time a permanent settlement got established by the end of the river course. Farming and livestocks became an important industry, along with salt.
In addition to salt, the lumber industry developed and became an important merchandise. At year 1340 the first official trade with lumber accrued and ships started to anchor up in Drammen. The lumber export eventually became of public interest, and laid the foundation for the Port of Drammen. In year 1388 the Port of Drammen made its first public revenues.
During these years, custom collections and the public authorities got an interest in the lumber trading. It was the Dutch who dominated the trading with lumber over the harbor i Drammen. In 1558 a new customs house was build. This was later replaced with a sumptuous costume house on Smedsøya in the middel of the 17th century.
The fjords in Drammen became the main vain for export of timber and lumber. By the middel of the 18th century, the port exported twice as much as other ports, including the capital Christiania´s port.
In 1730 the port got analyzed and evaluated. During this work, on organized port authority gained fertile ground.
In 1750 the customs house burned to the ground. The following year a new customs house of 1400 square meter was built. It contained an office building, a warehouse and housing for the customs officer and his family.
When the government took over the customs collection in 1777, the building was extended again for office purposes.
The first half of the 19th century, Drammen city was imprinted with city fires. The two last fires was in July 11. and 12. in 1866.A lot of properties was burned to the ground, and affected a blooming industry of steam power.
It was time to rethink and rebuild.
In 1867 Landfall bridge was built.
In 1868 the train station opened along with a train harbor.
In 1872 the railway bridge was completed.
In 1878 a new customs building was ready.
In 1889 the icebreaker and towing boat D/S Thor was launched. With this boat, the business on the port could go on all year.
At the end of the 1800s, paper factories was established along the river.The industry in Drammen started to expand and included glass, iron and beer.
In 1899 a massive rebuild of the port started, because the boats needed more space to dock.
At the beginning of 1900´s, the paper export increased and a new warehouses was built. After the World War 2, all the buildings at the port and the crane dock got an upgrade.
During the late years of the 1900´s, the paper export took a turn, and decreased. At this time Holmen bridge was built and made it easy to load merchandise from ships to trucks. At the same time the exports of other goods increased, so in 1974 the port needed to expand again. This time the development and establishment of the dock Riskaia was on Holmen.The first car, a Datsun, was loaded at the docks in 1964. This was the first of many cars to arrive the Port of Drammen. As soon as the car industry settled at the port, a fairytale started. Today the port is the biggest of it´s kind in Norway.
A lot changed during the end of the 1900´s. Among the changes was a new harbor law, and in 1985 the port was municipalised.Just a short amount time after this, the activity and trading was heavely decreased and something needed to be done.
At this time, the port was entering a new era. Einar Olsen became the new director and the work of how to increase the activity started. Olsen wanted more traid, expansion and modern developement.
By the year 2003, the port expanded with 90 acres at Holmen. In 2006 the goal is to be the best intermodal port in southeast of Norway. The capacity of containers increased in 2014 and seven railways in addition was established at Holmen in 2016.
At this point the port is the largest in terms of car import in the country, and aims to be the largest junction point for railway goods.
A new strategy for the years 2021-2040 was established in 2021.
Here are the main goals for the Port of Drammen:
1. The port is going to be sustainable and aims to be a good neighbour in Drammen. Therefor the goal is to have emission-free operations by the year 2030 and to score above 70 on reputation metrics.
2. The port is going to be leading in car import with over 90 precent of the car import.
3. The port is going to be a junction point for sea, roads and railway. Therefore the port is going to contribute to a sustainable solution that keeps over 50 precent goods on train, instead of roads, by 2030.
4. The port shall be a harbor with long term development of robust infrastructure, which will efficiently execute approved regulation and investment plans in line with time and budget.
5. The port is going to be proactive and commercial, aiming a turnover with over 100 MNOK, by the year 2030.
6. The port shall be an efficient and technology- driven port, based on strategic partnerships, with leading marketing efficiency, quality and transparency that enables handling of over 150 000 cars, over 60 000 containers over 20-feet and over 300 000 tonns of bulk cargo by 2030.
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Drammen HavnHans Kiærsgate 1 A3041 Drammen
Post box 636Strømsø3003 Drammen