With the CSCL Globe, Port of Hamburg handled a 19,100-TEU vessel for the first time. It is currently the world’s largest container ship and is deployed in the Europe-East Asia trade. This year China will again be expanding its position as Hamburg’s leading trading partner for container traffic.
As the new Giant of the Seas, CSCL Globe has dimensions of around 400 metres in length, 59 metres in width and a draft of 16 metres. A slot capacity of 19,100 TEUs makes this newbuild for China Shipping Container Lines one of the world’s largest container ships. Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea will be delivering its four sisterships in the course of this year. This enormous container ship discharged and loaded around 11,000 TEUs during its first call at Eurogate Container Terminal Hamburg.
“During the next few years we are reckoning with ongoing growth on the East Asia-Europe trade route and want to further expand our market share on this rotation. Port of Hamburg plays a crucial part in this as a cargo source and transhipment hub – currently we are in Hamburg every week with seven services,” said Niels Harnack, Managing Director of China Shipping Agency (Germany) GmbH. He also emphasized, however, that dredging and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe is urgently required. “Since the draft restrictions make it impossible for our newbuilds to sail on the Elbe fully laden, we have to leave part of the cargo in Rotterdam,” explained Harnack. One extra metre of draft on the Elbe would enable mega-container ships such as CSCL GLOBE to transport more than 1,000 additional TEUs. The AEX 1 liner service on which the CSCL Globe is deployed, serves the following ports: Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Nansha, Yantian, Singapore, Port Kelang, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Zeebrugge.
Hamburg gateway to Europe for China’s foreign trade
Hamburg’s container traffic is dominated by the boxes imported from or exported to China through Germany’s largest universal port. Almost one in three containers handled in Port of Hamburg originates from China or commences its ocean voyage to China. “After completing our evaluation of the complete throughput figures for 2014, we assume that we will reach the three-million mark on annual container traffic with China,” forecasts Axel Mattern, Port of Hamburg Marketing Executive Board Member. Totalling 2.3 million TEUs during the first nine months of 2014, container traffic with China through Hamburg produced growth of 12.8 percent over 2013. China Shipping Vice President Yu Zenggang was confident that the requested deepening of the Elbe navigational channel and also the enlargement of the Waltershofer turning circle to 600 metres will be implemented. “Especially important for mega-container ships, these infrastructure measures are also of great significance for our clients, who rely on Hamburg,” emphasized Yu Zenggang.
A total of more than 500 Chinese companies are entered in the city’s Commercial Register which indicates that foreign trade with China is deeply rooted in Hamburg. More than 700 Hamburg companies in Hamburg also maintain business relations with China. Of these, around 140 are directly represented in the People’s Republic by their own branch, an agent or a business unit. Port of Hamburg Marketing is present in Shanghai and in Hong Kong with its own representative office.