The Port of Hamburg has announced that 2014 has produced its best ever throughput levels.
Total throughput for last year stood at 145.7 million tons, representing growth of 4.8 percent. General cargo in particular did well, increasing by 6.1 percent to 102.7 million tons, while bulk cargo was up 1.7 percent to 43 million tons, which contributed to the record breaking numbers.
Axel Mattern of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM)’s Executive Board, said: “This year of throughput records was possible because port customers and ship owners rely on Hamburg and value our port’s high quality performance. Along with its excellent liner services and links with markets in Germany and abroad, the outstanding level of performance by the port and its many providers of cargo handling, logistics and transport services continue to prove convincing for its many customers. Internationally, Hamburg belongs in the Champions League of world ports, achieving above-average growth compared to its European competitors.”
At 9.7 million teu (20-foot standard containers), Hamburg’s container throughput achieved a gain of 5.1 percent, above average for ports in Northern Europe while remaining just below a fresh record 10 million teu mark that the port says is now the aim for 2015. Strong growth in container throughput is being attributed to a 9.8 percent hike in container services with China. With around 3.0 million teu, the Middle Kingdom is Hamburg’s biggest and most important partner for container transport.
Among Hamburg’s top ten trading partners, India with 232,000 teu (up by 14.9 percent) and Poland with 395,000 teu (up by 22.6 percent) both posted fresh throughput records for container traffic.
Overall, the development of transhipment services in the Baltic region, that in 2014 only reached slight growth of 0.5 percent, was affected by the anticipated downturn in container traffic with Russia. Hamburg’s second largest market partner on container services may have held its place. However, the weakness of the rouble and the repercussions of trade sanctions meant that throughput in 2014 did not exceed 662,000 teu (down 7.8 percent).
“In 2014 Hamburg’s feat of boosting container throughput by 5.1 percent meant that it did extremely well by comparison with its European competitors. Hamburg is gaining market share in this segment. Average container throughput in the major ports of Northern Europe was up by 4.2 percent. Hamburg has thus consolidated its position as Europe’s second largest container port. In the worldwide ranking of container ports, Hamburg remains in 15th place," said Mattern.
The Port of Hamburg employs around 151,000 people, with added value totalling almost 20 billion euros. To keep the universal port on a growth course, in addition to the dredging and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe, Mattern states that the upgrading and expansion of access and dispersal corridors for the transport of growing cargo volumes by rail, truck and inland waterway craft is vital.