Port of Hamburg Reports Strong First Half

containership
A container ship arrives at a loading terminal during a media tour at the annual news conference of the Hamburg harbour in Hamburg, Germany February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The Port of Hamburg reported strong growth in the first half of 2019 with seaborne cargo rising by over 4 percent helped by the solid growth in general cargo.

Germany’s largest seaport said it handled a total of 69.4 million tons, representing 4.1 percent growth in 1H 2019. Container volumes increased 7.5 percent to 4.7 million TEU. The port said it saw especially good growth in the general cargo segment, which was up 6.1 percent to 48.4 million tons. Total for bulk cargo handling was only about 0.3 percent lower than for 2018’s first half at 21.0 million tons.

The port said the growth in container volumes is primarily attributed to four new liner services that have linked the Hamburg with ports in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

Since the beginning of the year, the United States has grown to become Hamburg’s second biggest trading partner for container services, representing 283,000 TEU. The Port of Hamburg is now directly linked by a total of 14 liner services with 29 ports in the USA, Mexico and Canada. 

During the first half, the total number of containership calling at Hamburg also rose. A total 3,046 containerships berthed at the Port of Hamburg for an increase of 3.7 percent. Among these were 89 ultra-large container carriers or 36.9 percent more, with a slot capacity of 18,000 TEU and over.

“A total of eleven new liner services in the 2019 first half make it obvious that the Port of Hamburg has gained in attractiveness for shipping and shippers. With the start of expansion related to the adjustment of the fairway on the Lower and Outer Elbe, we are well on course for further expanding Hamburg’s position as the Northern European hub for worldwide freight traffic,” said Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

In the second half, the Port of Hamburg expects total growth of four percent in seaborne cargo throughput, and one of between five and six percent on container handling.

Apart from its trade routes with China and Asia, Hamburg has now become a hub for those with the USA, Mexico and Canada,” added Mattern

“Even in a generally tough situation on competition, and with traffic on the Elbe still subject to restrictions, Hamburg is making up ground and gaining market share,” Mattern added.