German terminal operator EUROGATE managed to close the 2018 financial year with stable container handling volumes despite the persistently challenging market environment.
In 2018, the Bremen-based group handled a total of 14.1 million TEUs at its twelve locations in and around Europe.
EUROGATE’s five German terminals handled a total of 7.76 million TEUs in 2018, a slight decrease compared to 7.78 million TEUs recorded a year earlier.
At 5.48 million TEUs in 2018, the Bremerhaven container terminals recorded a throughput almost on a par with 2017 when they handled 5.54 million TEUs. The schedule changes made by the shipping line alliances in April/May 2018 had no significant impact on this location, according to the terminal operator.
At EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg by contrast, handling volumes decreased slightly by 3 percent overall to just below 1.65 million TEUs. However, the integration of Hamburg Süd into the Maersk Group and the successful acquisition of new customer Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) halted the negative trend of the past few years brought about by the restructuring of the alliances.
Thus, following a weak first six months with a decline of around 16 percent, capacity utilisation at the terminal recovered significantly in the second half-year.
With an increase of 18.3 percent in 2018, EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven recorded double-digit growth for the third consecutive year. In 2018, in excess of 650,000 TEUs were handled here for the first time.
“We can be satisfied with the handling figures for 2018. Above all, the fact that we were able to maintain a very stable level in Germany is gratifying and shows that we can hold our own against the western ports and the new competitors on the Baltic Sea coast,” Michael Blach, Chairman of the EUROGATE Group Management Board, commented.
Significant declines at the transshipment terminals in Italy impacted negatively on handling volumes. Cagliari, in particular, has been hit by the transfer of scheduled services to other terminals and is losing almost 50 percent of its handling volumes. Gioia Tauro recorded a decline of 4.5 percent but remains at a high level, with 2.29 million TEUs reported. Against this trend, the terminals in La Spezia and Salerno developed positively.
The other terminals in the EUROGATE Group also reported stable handling volumes year-on-year overall. In Tangier, Morocco, the handling volume remained at the same high level as the previous year with 1.38 million TEUs. The strike-related decline in volumes in Lisbon, Portugal, of around 30 percent to 137,000 TEUs was offset by the positive development of the location in Limassol, Cyprus, with around 14 percent growth to almost 394,000 TEUs. The transshipment volume in Ust-Luga, Russia, was 69,000 TEUs, down by 7.1 percent, due to sanctions.
“Although 2018 was without a doubt a successful year, the trend in handling volumes shows us that the spread of opportunities and risks, as well as their impact on our business, has increased against the background of the changed parameters. With this in mind, our priority is to leverage the opportunities in order to expand our market position,” Blach further said.