Germany’s Port of Hamburg has set a record high 110 million tons throughput in the first nine months of 2014, an increase of 5.7 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Container handling also achieved a record mark of 7.4 million TEUs (20-ft standard containers), up 6.4 percent compared to 2013. The port also boosted its market share of container traffic for the period January to September from 26.1 percent to 26.7 percent.
“Hamburg is profiting especially from the double-digit growth in the container trade with Asia. With 12.8 percent growth, China particularly, Hamburg’s largest partner in the container trades, contributed to the immense boost in seaborne foreign trade for Germany’s largest universal port. The Port of Hamburg handled 2.3 million TEU containers to and from China in the first nine months of 2014. In direct container trade with Indian ports, in the first three quarters of the year Hamburg achieved a 15.4 percent advance to 176,000 TEUs. Development of container trade with Malaysia during this period was also highly satisfactory, advancing by 10.2 percent to 203,000 TEUs. Container trade with Africa also made excellent progress, increasing by 28.2 percent. Here it is primarily the container trades with Northern and South Africa that are ensuring steep growth,” said Axel Mattern, a member of the Executive Board of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM).
1.8 million TEUs were transported by feeders in the Baltic region trade, representing a 2.8 percent increase. Between January and September, 374 ultra-large containerships with slot capacities of over 10,000 TEUs called at Hamburg. Up by 23.8 percent, the figure for calls by ships of this size class underlines that for the sake of the port and shipping generally, the dredging and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe must be implemented, according to the port
“If all goes well, in 2014 we could achieve a 3.6 percent increase in seaborne cargo throughput and one of between 3.8 and 5.1 percent on container handling,” said Mattern.
The increase is dependent on further growth in container traffic with China and no further extension of the restraints on Russian trade caused by sanctions. For the Port of Hamburg, this would produce figures of around 144 million tons for cargo throughput generally, and of approximately 9.7 million TEUs for container handling. That would mean topping the 2008 record mark for seaborne cargo throughput of 140 million tons.