We talked this month with Mr. Vice Mihanović, CEO of Split Port Authority, Croatia’s largest passenger port. In what follows, Mr. Mihanović will tell us more about what the growth in passenger traffic meant for the Port, his long-term vision for the Port, the importance of the relation with the local community, and much more!
Can you briefly tell us about the Port of Split? What are its main characteristics and challenges?
The Port of Split is by far the largest passenger port in Croatia. The Port of Split, because of its purpose, is a port open for international traffic. Its size and importance make it a port of special international economic interest for the Republic of Croatia. Our port is a major transport hub, especially with regard to connecting Central Dalmatian islands in terms of passengers and cargo. There are six port basins: two of them are passenger traffic basins, while four are cargo basins. The connection with the Port of Split is a prerequisite for maintaining the economy, quality of life and development on the islands of Brač, Hvar, Šolta, Vis, Lastovo, Korčula and Drvenik Veli, and Drvenik Mali. The Port of Split plays a key role in connecting Croatia and Italy. The port provides top quality service for cruise ships. The Port of Split is of crucial importance for the development of tourism in Split and the region as a whole, and a major influence on the regional and national economy. In two decades, passenger traffic more than tripled, growing from 1.6 million to 5.6 million passengers per year, while vehicle traffic more than doubled from 327 thousand to 830 thousand vehicles per year. In recent years growth amounted to more than 5% a year. The port is a logistical link, with an economic advantage thanks to its location. The excursion programme for cruise ship passengers contributes to the development of the hinterland in our region.Besides being a passenger port, Split is also a significant cargo port. We are connected with the hinterland both by rail and roadlinks.
A major challenge of our port is to raise the level of service with a strong traffic growth while playing a responsible role in the community by acting in accord with sustainable development principles. Our goal is, by introducing new technologies, to become a smart and sustainable port.
How did you get into maritime transport? How did your career path lead to this position?
I have been working for the Port of Split Authority for over two decades. My beginnings were in the Port Operational Centre. Then I became the coordinator of the operations of the Port Operational Centre, and after that I became the Head of the Centre. Before becoming Managing Director, I spent a decade working as the Head of Commercial – Operational Sector. Over the years, I gained valuable all-round knowledge of the port operations, as well as experience. . . .
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