With total throughput of 145.7 million tonnes, representing growth of 4.8 per cent, Port of Hamburg achieved its best-ever results in 2014. General cargo throughput was up by 6.1 per cent to 102.7 million tonnes. Bulk cargo throughput was up by 1.7 per cent to 43.0 million tonnes.
At 9.7 million TEUs (20-ft standard containers), Hamburg’s container throughput achieved a gain of 5.1 per cent. Strong growth in container throughput is primarily attributable to a 9.8 per cent jump in container services with China. With around 3.0 million TEUs, the Middle Kingdom is Hamburg’s most significant partner for container transport. Among Hamburg’s Top Ten trading partners, Poland with 395,000 TEUs (up by 22.6 per cent) and India with 232,000 TEUs (up by 14.9 per cent) both posted record throughputs for container traffic. Growth of transhipment services in the Baltic region which reached only 0.5 per cent, was negatively impacted by the anticipated downturn in container traffic with Russia. Weakness in the rouble and the repercussions of trade sanctions meant that 2014 volumes did not exceed 662,000 TEUs (down 7.8 per cent).
Throughput of non-containerized general cargo reached 2.0 million tonnes (up by 3.8 per cent) in 2014. Growth was fuelled by exports of iron, steel, paper and timber, and a notable 19.6 per cent increase in imports of tropical fruit that reached 188,000 tonnes.
In 2014 bulk cargo throughput rose by 1.7 per cent to a total of 43.0 million tonnes. Growth was powered mainly by coal imports at 6.1 million tonnes (up by 6.9 per cent) and ore imports at 9.9 million tonnes (up by 4.4 per cent). Throughput in the liquid cargo segment totalled 14.4 million tonnes (down 0.8 per cent), just failing to match the previous year’s results. Apart from lower imports of crude oil, the downturn was caused by slight drops in imports of palm and soya oil as well as chemical products, and restructuring at a leading Hamburg refinery. Export growth of 12.8 per cent to 4.5 million tonnes was not sufficient to offset decreases in liquid cargo imports.