Slight recovery in Port of Hamburg's container handling

Standard containers rise by 2.4 per cent in Q3 over 2022 - growth mainly in traffic to U.S. and China
23 November 2023
Containerschiff Köhlbrandbruecke

Container handling in the Port of Hamburg grew by 2.4 per cent to two million TEU Q3 2023 over the same period in 2022, a press release said Tuesday (November 15, 2023). Trade with Asia recovered by 7.8 per cent over 2022 while container handling with the U.S. trade reached a new quarterly record of 171,000 TEU. More than 3,500 ships, especially Megamax vessels and with container-carrying capacity, had called in the Port of Hamburg by September this year. The figure represents a rise of 1.8 per cent over the same period last year. 

Rising container handling with U.S. and China

Axel Mattern, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM) noted: “This result is only part of the total picture, but shows that container throughput in the Port of Hamburg is recovering. With a view to the North Range ports, we will be the only one showing a positive result for container handling in the third quarter. This shows that we are able to increase our market share.”  Container handling with the U.S. grew faster while throughput with China rose by 8.8 per cent in Q3.

Challenging operating conditions 

From January to September 2023, companies in the port handled 86.6 million tons of seagoing cargo or a decrease of  5.6 per cent over the same period in the previous year. It remains to be seen whether this will have a positive impact on the annual result, Mattern said. The ongoing, challenging geo-political operating conditions and lower economic growth in Germany this year make any predictions difficult, he added. Angela Titzrath, Chair of HHLA's Executive Board, noted: "It is all the more important to maintain our strategic course amid multiple crises. Even in turbulent times, we are working consistently to strengthen our competitiveness and viability and to advance sustainability." The Container Terminal Altenwerder, for instance, was certified as climate-neutral in Q3 and the HHLA Pure network of the rail subsidiary Metrans was expanded for climate-friendly container transport.