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Seaborne cargo throughput sets new record for Port of Hamburg

110 million tonnes in the first nine months. Nearly all throughput segments contributed their share to this growth

With total throughput of around 110 million tonnes, the Port of Hamburg set a new record in the first nine months of 2014. Almost all throughput segments contributed their share to this 5.7 per cent growth.

Fastest Growing Port of Northern Europe

Container handling even achieved a record of 7.4 million TEU (20-ft standard containers) This 6.4 per cent increase makes Hamburg the faster growing port in Northern Europe. Hamburg’s competitors reported average growth of 1.9 per cent in total throughput and of four percent for container handling. The Port of Hamburg accordingly enlarged its market share of container traffic for the period January to September from 26.1 per cent to 26.7 per cent.

Double-Digit Growth in Container Traffic with Asia and Africa

“Hamburg is profiting especially from the double-digit growth in the container trade with Asia. With 12.8 per cent growth, China as Hamburg’s number one trading partner contributed to the immense boost in seaborne foreign trade for Germany’s largest universal port. The Port of Hamburg handled 2.3 million TEU containers to and from China in the first nine months of 2014. In direct container trade with Indian ports, Hamburg achieved a 15.4 per cent increase to 176,000 TEU from January to September.Container trade with Malaysia during this period was also highly satisfactory, augmenting by 10.2 per cent to 203,000 TEU. Container trade with Africa progressed by 28.2 per cent. Primarily, container trades with Northern and South Africa are ensuring steep growth.

Positive trend for the Baltic region

Container services with the Baltic region are especially significant for the Port of Hamburg: In the first nine months of the year, 1.8 million TEU were transported by feeders in this region, increasing thus by 2.8 per cent. Feeders carried 300,000 TEU (+ 29.2 percent) on container services with Polish ports. Container traffic between Hamburg and Russian ports declined by 5.7 per cent to 504,000 TEU due to the crises in Ukraine. With more than 160 feeder weekly connections to 32 Russian ports, Hamburg is the central hub in the container trade for the Baltic region

More ultra-large containerships calling at Hamburg

Between January and September, 374 ultra-large containerships with slot capacities of over 10,000 TEU called at Hamburg, and thus 23.8 per cent or almost one quarter more in comparison to the previous year at 302. For 2015, first registrations have been received for calls in Hamburg by ultra-large containerships of more than 400 metres in length.

More General and Bulk Cargoes handled

General cargo throughput of 78.3 million tonnes was the main factor behind the steep rise of 7.9 per cent. An outstandingly good total for container throughput was based on strong performances on both exports, 6.6 per cent higher at 3.6 million TEU, and imports, up by 6.2 per cent at 3.8 million TEU. At 900,000 TEU, throughput of empty containers was slightly above the previous year’s level. Throughput in the conventional general cargo segment, 1.1 per cent higher at 1.44 million tonnes, also developed well in the first nine months. Here it was above all exports of iron and steel, paper and timber that generated throughput growth for Hamburg’s multi-purpose terminals. At 31,600,000 tons, 0.7 per cent growth was reported for the bulk cargo sector. This result was especially positively shaped by continuing strong grain exports and imports.

Record Mark of 144 Million Tonnes in View

2014 has been a record year for the Port of Hamburg. For this year as a whole, Axel Mattern, a member of Port of Hamburg Marketing’s Executive Board, predicted: “If all goes well, we could achieve a 3.6 per cent increase in seaborne cargo throughput and one of between 3.8 and 5.1 per cent on container handling in 2014.” This is conditional on further growth in container traffic with China and no further extension of the restraints on Russian trade caused by sanctions. For the Port of Hamburg, this would produce figures of around 144 million tons for cargo throughput generally, and of approximately 9.7 million TEU for container handling. That would mean topping the record mark for seaborne cargo throughput last achieved in 2008, namely of 140 million tonnes.
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