2019-05-27 11:17

Port of Hamburg Strong First Quarter Growth Powers Upswing

Germany’s largest universal port is again on a growth path, achieving a distinct advance in the first quarter of 2019 with seaborne cargo throughput ahead by 6.0 percent at 34.6 million tons.

Both general cargo throughput at 23.9 million tons - up 5.4 percent- and bulk cargo throughput at 10.7 million tons - up 7.5 percent - rose substantially in the first three months. The gratifying 6.4 percent increase in container handling to 2.3 million TEU is primarily attributable to four liner services new to Hamburg and linking the Hanseatic City with ports in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

A total 121,000 TEU for container transport with the USA represented an almost fourfold jump, catapulting the USA into second place among Hamburg’s top trading partners on container traffic. Twelve liner services now link the Port of Hamburg directly with 29 ports in the USA, Mexico and Canada. “The four new Transatlantic services run by ‘THE Allianz’ plus renewed growth in bulk cargo handling are putting the port on a growth path. Hamburg has now become the hub for services with the USA, Mexico and Canada,” said Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

At around 14.1 million tons, in the general cargo segment German foreign trade with the USA now constitutes the second strongest market after China with around 21.0 million tons. “Including bulk as well as general cargoes, in seaborne cargo handling the Port of Hamburg has so far annually loaded and discharged a total of around 5.5 million tons,” said Mattern. With an average share of around 58 percent in the past five years, bulk cargoes - including agricultural produce, oil and coal - have outranked general cargoes.

The first quarter of 2019 went very successful for the Port of Hamburg as a whole. Feeder traffic and landside seaport-hinterland services - at 1.45 million TEU up by 8.0 percent on the comparable figure in the previous year - also profited from the new container lines. Of the total of 2.3 million TEU handled, 865,000 TEU - up 3.8 percent - were transported by feedership to other European ports. “The positive figures for seaport-hinterland services and the transhipment field underline Hamburg’s outstanding position as a hub port. More than 100 liner services link Hamburg with more than 1,000 seaports worldwide and generate the throughput volumes that then pass inland via Hamburg for further distribution,” said Ingo Egloff, Axel Mattern’s Executive Board colleague at Port of Hamburg Marketing.

Thilo Trusch, Hapag-Lloyd’s Head of Trade Management Atlantic, is sure of one thing: “Hamburg can Atlantic.” From the Hapag-Lloyd manager’s angle, pooling of Atlantic container services in Hamburg at one central terminal is very popular with his clientele. 

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