Port of Hamburg’s Q1 Throughput Down amid Slowdown in China

Total cargo throughput of the Port of Hamburg in the first quarter of 2016 was 2.5 percent lower at 34.8 million tons, driven primarily by lower container traffic with China, as explained by the Port of Hamburg Authority.

At 2.2 million TEU, first-quarter container throughput remained slightly below the previous year’s, being down by 78,000 TEU, or 3.4 percent.

The container traffic with China was 57,000 TEU lower than in the previous year, down 8 percent at 651,000 TEU, marking the largest volume fall.

The first three months brought cancellation of some sailings on container liner services on the East Asia trade route owing to cargo space overcapacity and complete withdrawal of one liner service.

“Taken together, the downturns for the Top Three trading partners, China (down 8 percent), Singapore (down 7.6 percent) and Russia (down 4.9 percent) constituted the main factor affecting our result on container handling. We saw the onset of stabilization occurring during the first quarter and are assuming that the volume downturn in container traffic with China and Russia has bottomed out, with both countries remaining core markets for the Port of Hamburg,” Axel Mattern, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM) said at a quarterly press conference.

Contributing to the total were bulk cargo throughput at 11.5 million tons (down 1.9 percent) and general cargo throughput at 23.3 million tons (down 2.7 percent).

Bulk cargo throughput in the first quarter at 11.5 million tons was just below the previous year’s record total, being down by 1.9 percent.

In June this year, a port business delegation will be visiting Ninghbo, Tianjin and Beijing. Along with discussions with Chinese representatives of leading import and export companies, talks are also planned with Chinese ports and transport companies, as well as with trade associations and government agencies.

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