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Higher first-quarter seaborne cargo throughput at the Port of Hamburg

The Port of Hamburg handled total throughput of 35.6 million tons (up by 0.1 percent) in the first quarter of 2015

Bulk cargoes at 11.7 million tons (up by 12.3 per cent) and container transport on railways between the port and its hinterland at 602,000 TEU (up by 11.1 per cent) were the strongest contributors to throughput growth.

Best-ever first Quarter in the Port’s History

“We can be satisfied overall with the first-quarter trend in seaborne cargo throughput. Even if a slight 4.9 per cent downturn in general cargo throughput at 23.9 million tons slightly dampens our satisfaction, this remains the best-ever first quarter in the port’s history,” stressed Port of Hamburg Marketing’s Executive Board Member Axel Mattern at the marketing association’s quarterly press conference.

Throughput of bulk cargoes was up in all the three segments, for suction cargoes by 19.4 per cent at 2.7 million tons, grab cargoes by 17.2 per cent at 5.5 million tons and liquid cargoes by 1.3 per cent at 3.5 million tons. The trend was especially notable on coal imports that at 1.8 million tons increased by 64.1 per cent. On the export side, the main contribution to this excellent result came from wheat, where volume handled rose by 44.0 per cent to 1.62 million tons.

Container Throughput suffers from Sanctions against Russia

Container throughput for the first three months of the year at 2.3 million TEU (20-ft standard containers) remained below the previous year’s strong result with a slight 2.3 per cent downturn primarily attributable to a fall in container traffic with Russia. In the first quarter a total of 109,000 TEU were transported between Hamburg and Russian ports on the Baltic, and thus 34.8 per cent less than in same quarter of the previous year. In Axel Mattern’s view, seaborne foreign trade via Hamburg will rise once again once sanctions are lifted and a recovery occurs in the Russian economy. The Port of Hamburg is the leading hub in Northern Europe for container services with the Baltic region. Also, the Port of Hamburg Marketing is devoting increased attention to Baltic markets. The recent accession of the ports of Gothenburg and Bronka to the marketing association also underlines its excellent links with the region.

Above-average growth in Hinterland Transport

Container hinterland transport by rail, truck and inland waterway craft made above-average progress and at 1.5 million TEU attained growth of 7.3 per cent. In the first three months of 2015, cargoes totalling 11.4 million tons, )(+ 8.3 per cent) were transported on the Hamburg Port Railway network. At 602,000 TEU, container transport by rail grew by 11.1 per cent. In future, even more efficient use will be made of the port’s rail infrastructure. Neutral, overriding control, or ‘Rail Operations Management’, will take over coordination of rail services and further optimize operating processes. Together, terminal operators, the port administration and German rail network – DB Netze – aim to continually increase the quality and efficiency of the Port of Hamburg as a supply chain element.

Urgently wanted: the Deepening of the Elbe fairway

Both the dredging of the channel plus the expansion and modernisation of transport infrastructure are of great importance for Hamburg’s future development as Germany’s leading port and logistics centre. Efficient transport links constitute the essential arteries for global foreign trade. The intelligent interchange and utilization of transport and logistics data, launched in Hamburg with smartPORT, will simplify efficient control of multimodal transport chains. Improved utilisation of the existing transport infrastructure will as a result permit the acceptance and transport of additional cargo volumes.

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