Port of Hamburg Reports Growth for Container Traffic

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
With a 7.2 percent increase in overall turnover Germany¹s largest seaport is also positioning itself in front of other Northern European all-purpose ports. In the first six months of 2003 the other ports achieved an average handling increase of 5.8 percent. In the first six months a total volume of 51.3 million tons of seaborne cargo was loaded and unloaded at the Port of Hamburg's cargo handling terminals. This represented an increase of 7.2 percent compared to the same period last year. While bulk cargo handling increased by a negligible 0.7 percent, the 11.5 percent increase in LCL turnover brought a volume gain of 3.3 million tons. In the first half of 2003 a record 2.9 million TEU's (20-feet equivalent unit) were handled at the Hamburg Container Terminals. This represented an increase of 14.9 percent compared to the same period last year. This means that, for the fifth year in succession Hamburg can show a double-figure increase in container turnover. The increase in container handling since 2000 was clearly over the average growth-rate for the ports in Northern Europe (Bremen/Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Antwerp). "This allowed Hamburg to increase its market share," said Dr. Juergen Sorgenfrei, Chairman of Port of Hamburg marketing(HHM). "The positive development in Hamburg's Far East container traffic has been only slightly impaired by the SARS epidemic," he added. The 23.4 percent increase in Far East container traffic decreased briefly to 19.6 percent during the second quarter due to the effects of the SARS epidemic. Overall container traffic in this area ­ a particularly important one for Hamburg ­ increased by a clear 21.4 percent in the first half of the year. "Hamburg's position as the port with the largest quantity of traffic to and from China remains unchanged. One new development is the fact that Hamburg is now becoming the most important seaport for all the OFar East shipping¹ shipping area in northern Europe," said Dr. Sorgenfrei. In the South and Southwest Asian shipping areas increases of between five and 10 percent were also recorded. Container traffic with the Indian Subcontinent in particular increased by a clear 11.3 percent. New and revamped scheduled services will bring further growth in the second half of the year. North American traffic on an upswing ­ high growth-rates in South American traffic After the slight decreases in business on the North American East Coast and Canadian trading routes were recorded in the first quarter of 2003, more cargo was handled in the second quarter than in the same period last year. In the first half of 2003 Hamburg's North American container turnover increased by 0.8 percent. The first half of 2003 brought an increase in container traffic with the east and west coasts of South America of 12.5 percent and 13.3 percent respectively. Because of the crisis in Argentina exports to South America remained lower than imports from that region. Imports increased strongly following the devaluation of the Brazilian Real and the Argentinian Peso. New scheduled services from Hamburg had already been established by mid-2002. Hamburg expands its position as Europe's main port for the Baltic Sea region Along with new scheduled overseas container services, countless new feeder services were also started from Hamburg to the Baltic Sea region in the first half year. The Combisped Container Terminal in Lübeck (CTL) also commenced operations during the same period. "Hamburg's position as the most important hub and assembly point for Baltic freight was further upgraded and it also increased its decades-old cutting edge in Scandinavian traffic," said Dr. Sorgenfrei. In the first six months of 2003 container traffic with Scandinavia achieved an increase of 15.2 percent. Container traffic via Hamburg with the rest of the Baltic Sea region (Finland, Russia, the Baltic States and Poland) even achieved an increase of 27.1 percent. The export boom to Eastern Europe recorded last year is continuing this year as well. Seawards trade to and from Eastern Europe provided the highest growth in all shipping areas with increases of 27.1 percent in the first half of the year. A significant portion of the increase is due to the continued rise in traffic with the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation now occupies sixth place on the list of "Hamburg's Ten Most Important Trading Partners". In the first half of the year some 125,000 TEU's were processed in both directions (+19.1 percent). Conventional Cargo Handling Decreases The relocation of the departure point for the ferry to England from Hamburg to Cuxhaven at the beginning of 2002, the closing of the Cellpap Forest Products terminal at the end of 2002 and the dissolution of the Harms Car Feeder Service in 2003 are cited as the reasons for the drop in conventional cargo traffic, which decreased by 16.1 percent in the first six months of the year. Some other causes of the drop in handling quantities in this area were the poor sugar beet harvest, which led to low sugar production, the civil war in West Africa and the effects of the war in Iraq. Nevertheless, important imported goods include tropical fruit, non-ferrous metals, paper and cellulose. Significant product groups in shipments of conventional freight included iron and steel products, project cargo and motor vehicles. A new scheduled service which has been carrying bananas from South America to Hamburg since the beginning of the year, the Pearl String Service of the Rickmers Line was started in April. More new services were started in July and August. Hamburg's bulk cargo traffic set to increase In the area of bulk cargo a total of 19.3 million tons of freight was handled in the first half of 2003 at the special terminals for grab goods, suction goods and liquid cargo. This corresponds to an increase of 0.7 percent. Handling of grab goods increased by 1.2 percent and achieved a total volume of 10.3 million tons. Significant products in this area are imported coal and ore. The handling of liquid cargo grew compared with the same period last year and showed an increase in handling volume of 5.7 million tons, which corresponds to an increase of 0.6 percent. Imports of mineral oil products in particular increased during the last four months and with a volume of 642,000 tons showed the highest level since March 1999. The 3.3 million tons of suction goods handled was just one percent under the result for last year. Port of Hamburg Marketing also expects a distinct increase in seawards cargo handling for the second half-year period "Due to its favorable geographic location for transport Hamburg benefits from the growing Far East and Baltic Sea traffic movements in particular. The wide range of transport services offered by various modes for rapid and short pre- and on-carriage to domestic markets ­ unique in Northern Europe ­ makes Hamburg a central seaport and a central foreign trade distribution center," said Dr. Sorgenfrei. In addition, a new series of scheduled services ensures an increase in volume in Germany's largest logistics center, "The Port of Hamburg".
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