The turnover of the port of Hamburg increased by 1.7% yoy in January-March 2017, amounting to 35.4 million tons. The growth of freight turnover in the first three months was mainly supported by the handling of bulk cargo, registering increase of 6.7% yoy to 12.2 million tons. For the first time in the port’s history, the mark of 12 million tons in bulk cargo segment has been overcome. The total volume of general cargo decreased in comparison with last year slightly (-0.7%) and amounted to 23.1 million tons, due to a 4.7% drop in import freight traffic (11.2 million tons). In contrast, the transshipment of export general cargo for the reporting period increased by 3.4% to 11.9 million tons.
The container turnover of the port of Hamburg from January to March also decreased in comparison with last year by 0.7% to 2.2 million TEU. The number of handled laden containers rose by 0.04% to 1.9 million TEU, while the number of empty containers decreased by 4.9% to 0.31 million TEU. The handling of containerized goods at European ports increased by 0.6% to 663 thousand TEU. The traffic on lines connecting Hamburg with North and South America rose by 6.4% to 311 thousand TEU, while traffic connecting it with Australia and Oceania rose 19.9% to 13 thousand TEU. The container volumes on the lines connecting Hamburg with Africa and Asia decreased by 5.5% (70 thousands TEU) and 3.0% (1.2 million TEU). Thus, container import-export flows from China, a strategically important partner of Hamburg, amounted to 637 thousand TEU, which is 2.0% less than the same period last year.
Nevertheless, as noted in the message, the volume of container cargo on the lines connecting Hamburg with 10 leading trading partners has significantly increased: Russia – by 15.6% (120 thousand TEU), USA – by 5.5% (89 thousand TEU), Malaysia – by 0.4% (76 thousand TEU), Great Britain – by 2.8% (66 thousand TEU) and Sweden – by 4.0% (66 thousand TEU).
The administration of the port expects the restoration of cargo flows, taking into account the approach of vessels floating on more than 100 line services. The port of Hamburg is part of the loop of 10 Asian services of new alliances of container operators – THE Alliance and OCEAN Alliance, as well as two services serviced by 2M. More and more line shipping companies place mega-container carriers on their Asian services, which go to the terminals of Hamburg. In the first quarter of 2017, the number of ship calls of container ships with a capacity of more than 14,000 TEU increased by 61% (74 vessels).
As noted in the administration of the port of Hamburg, for calling at terminals of such large-capacity vessels and improving navigation on the river Elbe, is the project of highest importance. On February 9, 2017, the project was approved by the Federal Administrative Court. According to the judges, the shortcomings of the dredging project, which caused environmental organizations’ concerns, could be eliminated.
The port of Hamburg is the largest port of Germany and the leading port in Europe, where container and bulk cargoes are handled. It occupies a territory of 75 square km and is considered the third largest in Europe (after Rotterdam and Antwerp). The port is located at the mouth of the Elbe River, 100 km from the coast. The port capacities allow to receive and handle dry cargo vessels with deadweight up to 250,000 tons.