The overall trend in seaborne cargo throughput in the Port of Hamburg in the first half of 2021 was positive. General and bulk cargo throughput picked up markedly in the second quarter. At 63.5 million tons, total seaborne cargo throughput was up by 3.8 percent. Container handling at 4.3 million TEU - 20-ft standard containers - was 5.5 percent up. After a modest start in the first two months, March and the second quarter brought a distinct surge in container handling. Totalling 19.3 million tons, throughput of bulk goods remained on an upward curve, being ahead by 3.3 percent.
Especially in the first few months of the first half of 2021, the persisting worldwide repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic were still determining the throughput trend in the Port of Hamburg. “We find that throughput in the Port of Hamburg has developed positively, embarking on a recovery process. Yet it was not yet possible to fully recover the throughput downturn caused by the repercussions of the pandemic in Hamburg, among other ports. Growing imports and exports, heavy consumer demand, and the Port of Hamburg’s immense range of liner services, are bringing us on to a stable growth curve,” explained Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing - HHM.
At the Port of Hamburg online press conference organized by HHM, Axel Mattern was especially gratified by the record figure for railborne container transport. At 1.4 million TEU, during the first six months of the year the Port of Hamburg Railway network achieved a fresh record. “That’s an 11.3 percent advance, underlining Hamburg’s position as Europe’s top rail port,” added Mattern.
The first stage of the fairway adjustment on the Elbe also made a positive impact. Jens Meier, CEO of HPA - Hamburg Port Authority, pointed out that clearance for this had made movement and passing considerably simpler for large vessels. “Even for the extremely large containerships of the Megamax class, offering slot capacities of between 18,000 and 24,000 TEU, the Port of Hamburg is now more readily accessible. In the first half of 2021 alone, 107 of these Megamax containerships called Hamburg. That’s a 24.4 percent increase, making clear that the fairway adjustment is a successful project for the port, shipping, and the economy,” explained Meier.
In the first six months of the year, 63.5 million tons of seaborne cargo were loaded or discharged at terminals in the Universal Port of Hamburg, or 3.8 percent more than in the previous year. At 44.2 million tons, general cargo throughput was up by 4 percent. The trend was also distinctly upwards for container handling in Hamburg at 4.3 million TEU – 20-ft standard containers, a 5.5 percent increase on the previous year.
Ahead by 6.1 percent, export container handling at 2.1 million TEU rose more strongly than for imports, 5.0 percent up at 2.2 million TEU. Of special interest for the port’s added value, total throughput of loaded containers, which rose 6.9 percent to 3.8 million TEU, was a very strong feature. At 464,000 TEU, empty box throughput was 4.5 percent lower than in the same period of the previous year.
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