With total volume of around 110 million tonnes, Port of Hamburg set a new cargo record for the first nine months of 2014. The port handled 7.4 million TEUs, which represents an increase of 6.4 per cent over the comparable period of a year earlier. With total volume growth of 1.9 per cent Hamburg and growth of 4.0 per cent in the number of containers handled, the port is growing faster than competing ports in Northern Europe.

Double-digit percentage growth in container traffic with Asia and Africa

Port of Hamburg handled 2.3 million TEUs to and from China in the first nine months of 2014, representing a growth rate of 12.8 per cent. In trade with Indian ports, Port of Hamburg achieved a 15.4 per cent growth rate to 176,000 TEUs. Development of container trade with Malaysia during this period advanced by 10.2 per cent to 203,000 TEUs. Container trade with Africa also made excellent progress, increasing by 28.2 per cent.

Positive trend for the Baltic region

In the first nine months of the year 1.8 million TEUs were transported by feeders in the Baltic trade, representing a 2.8 percent increase. Feederships carried 300,000 TEUs (+ 29.2 percent) on container services with Polish ports. “The unwavering strong growth of feeder services between Hamburg and Polish ports clearly indicates that along with Hamburg’s well developed rail and road transport services, seaborne container transport is gaining further importance for supplying the Polish market,” said Ingo Egloff, a member of Port of Hamburg Marketing.  During the first nine months, volume handled in container traffic between Hamburg and Russian ports reached 504,000 TEUs, which is 5.7 per cent below the comparable figure in 2013. “After China, Russia still occupies second place among the Port’s container partners. For the first nine months of this year it was apparent that the weakness of the rouble boosted the total number of loaded import containers from Russia handled via Port of Hamburg, up by 21.9 per cent at 120,000 TEUs, while the figure for export containers loaded for Russia was 4 percent lower at 296,000 TEUs. The total number of loaded containers in this trade therefore rose during the first three quarters to 416,000 TEU (+ 2.3 percent). “With more than 160 feeder weekly connections, 32 to Russian ports, Hamburg is further expanding its function as the central hub in the container trade for the Baltic region,” explained Ingo Egloff, a member of Port of Hamburg Marketing’s Executive Board.

Further rise in the number of ultra-large containerships in Hamburg

Between January and September, 374 ultra-large containerships with slot capacities of over 10,000 TEUs called at Hamburg. Up by 23.8 per cent, calls by ships of this size class underline that dredging and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe must be implemented. For 2015, the first registrations have been received for calls in Hamburg by ultra-large containerships of over 400 metres in length. “This underlines the urgent need for the navigation channel to be dredged and widened. Today I should like to appeal to all those who care deeply about the Port of Hamburg to make it clear that while the project cannot just yet be realized, it is more clearly than ever on course towards its objective”, said Hamburg’s Senator for Economy, Traffic and Innovation.

More general and bulk cargoes handled in the first three quarters

General cargo movements of 78.3 million tonnes rose by 7.9 per cent. Container export TEUs were up by 6.6 percent at 3.6 million TEUs, while import TEUs were up by 6.2 per cent at 3.8 million TEUs. Breakbulk throughput was 1.1 percent higher at 1.44 million tonnes, with exports of iron and steel, paper and timber generating the growth. At 31.6 million tonnes, 0.7 per cent growth was reported for the bulk cargo sector, which benefited from strong grain exports and imports. A 29.2 per cent drop in crude oil imports was the result of downtime at a local refinery.