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Hamburg further strengthens rail credentials

In Q1 2019, 12.5 Mt of freight (+ 7.7% year-on-year) were transported by rail between the Port of Hamburg and destinations within Germany and Europe

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The port is thus building on its impressive performance in terms of rail on-carriage. Of the port’s total hinterland moves last year, rail accounted for 48.2%, trucking for 41.4% and inland waterway 10.2%.

In the container sector, in Q1 2019, 690,000 TEU were moved inland by rail (+ 13.6% year-on-year). This growth in transport by rail is mainly due to the four new Trans-Atlantic liner services connecting Hamburg with the USA, Canada and Mexico, and new container block-train services.


In all, around 2,100 marketed container train services to and from Hamburg are on offer. This includes more than 200 container train services to destinations in China. The latter business segment is growing, notes the port, because it meets a need for services that faster than sea mode and less expensive than air mode.

The Port of Hamburg offers unmatched rail access in mainland European ports
The Port of Hamburg offers unmatched rail access in mainland European ports

“The Port of Hamburg is Europe’s leading rail port. Against the backdrop of overloaded roads and the desire for the most environment-friendly freight transport possible, in the coming years, rail will gain in importance in seaport-hinterland transport," said Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of HHM Port of Hamburg Marketing.

"To be well prepared for growth in freight quantities, it is not enough for the ports alone to invest in developing and modernizing, as well as in digitalising its infrastructure. Both the rail network and the inland handling terminals have to have both their performance and capacity upgraded for the additional freight volumes.


Around 12% of all rail freight services in Germany have their origin or destination in the port of Hamburg. In excess of 200 freight trains daily utilise the 300 kilometres of rail network of Hamburg Port Railway and the large number of industrial sidings in the port.


More than 5,000 freight railcars have to be reliably positioned every day either in blocks or individually in the handling terminals and industrial premises. The number of rail transport operators using the network has risen in recent years to more than 150 companies.

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