“Container handling continued to profit from the strong growth markets in China and the Far East and from the above-average growth rates in seaborne foreign trade with the Baltic Sea states,” said Hendrik Lorenz of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM). According to Lorenz, the Far East and the Baltic region (Russia included) would continue to be the main generators of container traffic in the years to come, but South America East and West Coast would also be significant, having grown this year by 16.6% and 30.9% respectively.
He pointed out the urgent need to expand container handling facilities at the port, which is fast reaching its capacity, along with transport infrastructure to manage the growing volumes of land traffic. Container volumes at Hamburg have more than doubled since the Lower Elbe shipping channel was last improved in 1999.
“If we want to strengthen and develop our market share, the port expansion projects, the upgrading of the Elbe shipping channel as well as the improvement of hinterland connections for land transport must be realised speedily. Within the first six months of the year, we have already noted 88 ship calls of vessels above 8,000 teu loading capacity,” said Lorenz.