Comprising general and bulk cargo segments, seaborne cargo handling in Hamburg during the first nine months at 104.3 million tons maintained a stable level.
At 6.8 million TEU (20-ft standard containers), throughput of containerised general cargoes continued to grow; while at 34.1 million tons, bulk cargo throughput remained just below the previous year’s figure. For Port of Hamburg Marketing, the excellent trend in container traffic with Canada is a gratifying pointer. The port’s marketing organisation sees the CETA free trade agreement as providing an additional boost for seaborne trade that will benefit the Port of Hamburg.
Of the 6.8 million TEU (up 0.4%) handled in Hamburg in the first nine months, 3.5 million TEU were import containers (up 0.7%) and 3.2 million TEU export containers (up 0.1%). The upward trend in container traffic with China, Hamburg’s leading trade partner by a wide margin, was maintained, with 2.5% growth to 2.0 million TEU.
Once ratified by the parliaments of EU countries, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada that provisionally came into force on 21 September will simplify foreign trade. Customs dues will be scrapped on 98%of goods traded, and import and export restrictions will very largely be discarded.
The trend in throughput in the Baltic trade that is of such importance for the Port of Hamburg was also gratifying. This increased by 2.8% to total 1.4 million TEU. Seaborne container traffic with Sweden was 20.9% up at 220.000 TEU and with Poland it grew by 7.7% to 172,000 TEU. With growth at between 5.8% and 18.8%, Lithuania (95,000 TEU), Latvia (88,000 TEU) and Estonia (35,000 TEU) also contributed to growth on the Baltic services. The trend was positive for the Port of Hamburg’s container services with Europe generally, the total being 1.6% higher at 2.0 million TEU. Other countries with distinct growth in container traffic were Vietnam, 62.6% up at 52,000 TEU, Chile, 43.4% up at 57,500 TEU, Mexico 22.7% ahead at 68,000 TEU, and Israel, up 25.5% at 57,000 TEU.
More mega-containerships in Hamburg
With calls by containerships with slot capacities of between 14,000 and 17,999 TEU increasing by 36.9% to 167 and those by even larger vessels (18,000-20,000+ TEU) up by 87.8% at 77, the number of particularly large containerships seen in the Port of Hamburg further increased. Making maiden calls, among the latter were mega-carriers MOL TRUST with slot capacity of 20,170 TEU and MUNICH MAERSK (20,568 TEU). Both Joint CEOs see the inability of mega-containerships to call and leave Hamburg optimally loaded on account of the still outstanding adjustment of the Elbe fairway as the main reason behind only slight growth in container traffic. ‘Adjustment of the fairway is essential for Hamburg and should at last be put into effect.
Third quarter brings record figure for railborne container transport
With around 2,000 container train services per week, Hamburg is Europe’s largest rail port. With something over 611,000 TEU being brought into or moved out of the Port of Hamburg by rail, the third quarter produced a record figure. That was an 8.8% increase on II/2017. For the first nine months as a whole, rail transport totals of 34.4 million tons (down 2.9%) and around 1.8 million TEU (down 2.0%) were recorded for the Port of Hamburg. ‘The record figure for the third quarter underlines Hamburg’s efficiency in environmentally-friendly railborne container transport. Up to 220 freight trains with up to 5,900 wagons are cleared daily in the Port of Hamburg. Around 11% of total German rail freight traffic originates or terminates in the Port of Hamburg,’ emphasised Ingo Egloff.