Port of Hamburg Grows 8%

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In the Port of Hamburg a total of 58.6 million tons of seafreight was handled in the first half year 2010. This comes up to a plus of 8.1 per cent compared to the previous year. Especially the strong growth of imports, which reached a total of 33.7 million tons, made for a higherthan- average growth by 12.3 per cent. Exports reached 24.9 million tons in the first half-year and, thus, increased by 2.9 per cent compared to the previous year. Claudia Roller, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, the marketing organization of the Port of Hamburg, reported at the half-year press conference that both the handling of general cargo with a plus of five per cent to 38.8 million tons and the handling of bulk cargo with a plus of 14.8 per cent to 19.7 million tons came along pleasingly positively.

“The pleasing cargo handling figures confirm the clear upward trend in cargo throughput of the Port of Hamburg“, Claudia Roller commented. „Also the container traffic that was hit especially hard in the year of crisis 2009 has again an upward tendency and reached with a volume of 3.7 million TEU in the first halfyear a plus of 4.3 per cent. In June, with a plus of 16.5 per cent compared to the previous month following up on pre-crisis amounts, we even could register the best result of container handling since December 2008.“ So, container traffics with North and South America reached a total of 380,000 TEU and, thus, a growth by 11.6 per cent. Asia traffics, that are of special importance to the Port of Hamburg, amounted to 2.2 million TEU and, thus, increased by 6.9 per cent. Container handling with African countries climbed up to 96,000 TEU and, thus, reached a plus of 14.7 per cent.“

Analyzing the handling of seaborne cargo one has to realize that the handling general cargo, which is in Hamburg especially strongly pronounced, could increase by five per cent in the first half-year. In the non-containerized general cargo 1.2 million tons were handled in the first half-year. This comes up to a growth of 2.7 per cent.

“The port railway has proven a reliable performer in the Port of Hamburg”, reported Jens Meier, managing director of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA). The good connections into the southern, eastern and south-eastern European hinterland ensured that in the first six months of this year, rail freight handling volumes were on track to reach the record levels of 2008. “This confirms that our strategy for investments in the infrastructure, especially in the port railway, paid off”, said Meier.

Since general cargo is handled in Hamburg by about 97 per cent containerized, this growth also affects the volume of TEU. Germany’s biggest container port shipped in total 3.7 million TEU (20-feet-standard-containers) in the first half-year 2010. This comes up to an increase of 4.3 per cent compared to the previous year. Within the handling of containers the shipping route Asia, which is very important to Hamburg due to its volume and to which belongs also China as the by far most important market partner of the Port of Hamburg, is again on a considerable growth curve with a total number of 2.2 million TEU (+6.9 per cent).

Still Hamburg is in Europe the leading transhipment centre with respect to container traffic with Asia and China. A significant part of these containers is transported as transhipment cargo via the hub Hamburg per feeder vessel to the Baltic Sea region. In contrast to Western feeder and short sea destinations, that are operated via Hamburg and show already growth rates between 3.6 und 9.5 per cent for the first six months of the year, the container traffic at the routes to Scandinavia and the other states of the Baltic Sea is still with 9.5 and 3.7 per cent in the red. Here, also the excellent development of the foreign trade of Russia, which increased in the container traffic with 191,000 TEU via Hamburg by 15.7 per cent in the first half-year, could not compensate the slumps in container traffic with the other states of the Baltic Sea caused by the crisis. The handling figures for the second quarter do already show an upward tendency for some of these Baltic Sea destinations. Russia still remains unchanged Hamburgs most important trade partner in the European container traffic and third-strongest trade partner in the global container traffic of Hamburg.

The handling of bulk cargo, which reached a result of 19.7 million tons in Hamburg in the first six months, is on a significant growth curve with an increase by 14.8 per cent compared to the previous year. Especially the import of iron ore, that was hit hard by the global financial and economic crisis last year, recovered quickly and brought the segment grabbable cargo to a result of 9.6 million tons (+61.4 per cent). The import of ore, that decreased to an amount of 1.4 million tons in the first half-year 2009, climbed up to 4.7 million tons in the first six months of 2010. This comes up to a growth by 243 per cent. The handling of suction cargo, mainly determined by the handling of agribulk, could not keep its excellent result of the previous year and registers 3.3 million tons (-19 per cent) in the first half-year. The section of liquid cargo remained with 6.8 million tons 4.8 per cent below the result of the previous year. Provided that there is a continuous positive world economic climate Claudia Roller expects for 2010 at a total cargo handling for the Port of Hamburg of about 119 million tons a plus of about 8 per cent. With respect to the handling of containers Roller assumes about 7.7 million TEU (+9 per cent). Such a fast upward trend in the handling of seaborne cargo was not expected by the Hamburg port-related industries. Now, it has a positive effect that the investments in modernization and extension of terminals and infrastructure, that were initiated by the port companies and the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) previous to the crisis, were not stopped. Thus, the port is excellently prepared for again increasing volumes of cargo in the general and bulk cargo sections, which are e. g. transported by new scheduled liner services and large-scale container ships crossing the sea more and more as well as by bulkers increasingly used for bulk cargo shipping.

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