At 131 million tons in 2012, total throughput in the Port of Hamburg remained slightly below the previous year.
Hamburg nevertheless remains the second largest container port in Europe and consolidates its 14th place among container ports worldwide.
For the Port of Hamburg, the reluctance to consume and invest apparent in Europe in the second half of 2012 especially affected throughput of imported goods. At 73.9 million tons, these were down by 3 percent. By contrast, exports by sea at 57.1 million tons (+ 1.9 percent) once again increased. This positive trend could be explained by uninterrupted worldwide demand for German products, among other factors.
The Port of Hamburg further strengthened its claim as “Gateway to the World” for German exports. Altogether 3.8 million loaded export containers (TEU) were handled in Hamburg during 2012. That corresponds to 4.4 percent growth by comparison with the previous year. The positive throughput trend on exports compensated for a 3.6 percent downturn in imports of loaded containers, which reached a volume of 3.8 million TEU. The slight (- 1.7 percent) downturn in total container throughput to 8.9 million TEU is primarily attributable to lower throughput of empty boxes. At 1.2 million empty containers (TEU), total handling in this segment was 12.1 percent lower than in 2011.
Claudia Roller, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM) said: “We can be satisfied with the trend on the Port of Hamburg’s handling of exports. This illustrates once again the high standing German products enjoy abroad and underlines what a significant role in German foreign trade falls to the Port of Hamburg. Yet we do not wish to gloss over the total result, for the economy in Europe needs to recover and to generate an increased willingness to consume and invest. With demand again picking up in Europe and foreign trade gathering strength in our most significant markets abroad, for 2013 growth in total throughput can be expected for the Port of Hamburg."