In future, commercial shipping will have to observe a speed limit of 10 knots in the port of Hamburg. The speed limit is to help reduce erosions on the river embankment caused by waves generated by ships.
So far the commercial shipping regulations applicable on the river Elbe require ships to travel at a “safe speed”. The safe speed of a ship is determined based on the ship itself, the fairway and the water depth, the embankments as well as the tidal conditions and the impacts of weather.
The competent water police authorities of the federal government and the port of Hamburg have decided to impose speed limits; the maximum speed allowed in the port of Hamburg now is 10 knots (about 19 kilometres per hour). Incorporating this speed limit in the port legislation is a necessary and consequential measure. The newly intro-duced maximum speed will, however, not have any adverse effect on the nav-igational safety of ships and smooth vessel traffic. The speed limits are im-posed to ensure national consistency and avoid negative impacts on the envi-ronment. The new regulation does not apply to sports boats. Their maximum speed limit in the port of Hamburg is 12 knots (22 kilometres per hour).
Hamburg port Authority, May 27, 2013