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Port of Hamburg posts strong results

Overall tonnage increased in H1 2019 by 4.1% year-on-year, to 69.4 Mt

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Port of Hamburg posts strong results

Port of Hamburg Markering has reported that in H1 2019 overall throughput increased by 4.1% to 69.4 Mt, with bulk cargo handling more or less unchanged on H1 2018 at 21 Mt. General cargo, mostly containerised, up 6.1% to 48.4 Mt. This is reflected in container numbers, up 7.5% to 4.7M TEU.


Container transhipment accounted for 1.7M TEU (+ 5.5%), and hinterland traffic 2.9M TEU (+ 8.7%), of which 1.4M TEU, or 48%, were moved by rail, underscoring Hamburg’s position as Europe’s biggest "rail port." The number of daily trains regularly tops 200 and on very busy days reaches 225. A total of 24.4 Mt were moved by rail, a 5% increase year-on-year.

Hamburg is easily biggest rail port for container shipments
Hamburg is easily biggest rail port for container shipments

Separately, HHLA has reported that in H1 this year it handled 3.77M TEU (+ 3.8% year-on-year), although this includes the contributions from HHLA TK Estonia in Muuga and CTO in Odessa. HHLA’s intermodal rail segment increased by 9.3% to 610,000 TEU and it also dispatched 172,000 TEU by road (+ 10.6%).


The growth in seaborne and hinterland rail traffic is ascribed largely to four new Trans-Atlantic liner services (switched from Bremerhaven) connecting Hamburg with the USA, Canada and Mexico.

In H1 2019, these accounted for 283,000 TEU of seaborne container traffic and the United States became Hamburg’s second most important partnerfor container services. The port is now directly linked by a total of 14 liner services with 29 ports in the USA, Mexico and Canada.

In addition, 2M’s Condor/AE7 container service has also switched from Bremerhaven to Hamburg. The service is operated with 12 vessels with capacities of 16,500 -19,500 TEU.


Intermodal barge volumes are also increasing, although the base remains low. In Q1, according to the Port of Hamburg, volumes increase by 20% to 34,640 TEU. Tonnage (all traffic) increased by 12.1% to 2.57 Mt. An ongoing problem is low water, particularly in the undammed section in the Middle and Upper Elbe between the Geesthacht lock and Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic.


From June onwards inland navigation in this section came to a standstill. Recent rains may have improved the situation, but it is difficult for transport operators to include inland shipping in their transport chain planning.

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