Abstract: The depths of the Danish Straits limit the drafts of ships entering the Baltic Sea. The largest ships calling the Baltic in a laden condition are called Baltimax. The article presents how the dredging works carried out in the Danish Straits in the 1970s enabled the development of the Port of Gdańsk and consequently also influenced the city, being a residential base for employees of the new port and shipyards. The analysed case proves that, for port cities, overcoming a distant navigational bottleneck by dredging the existing passage or constructing a new channel might lead to a significant change in their development. The article also raises a question on the current development opportunities of the Port of Gdańsk, which is again increasingly limited by the depths of the Danish Straits, as large tankers and bulk carriers have already been entering Gdańsk not fully loaded for some time, and recently the largest container ships also reached the maximum permissible drafts.
Keywords: Danish Straits; development thresholds; port economic growth; port industry; port infrastructure; Port of Gdańsk