The company’s German facilities in Bremerhaven and Hamburg recorded a rise of 9.4%, with volumes at Bremerhaven showing particularly strong growth, up 18.7% from 3.7m teu to 4.4m teu. Volumes at Hamburg stagnated, at 2.5m teu, but double-digit growth at the terminal is expected again in 2007.
The growth of Italian terminal group Contship Italia SpA contributed to higher volumes across Europe. Its facilities at Cagliari, Sardinia handled 0.7m teu, a rise of 7% from 2006, while La Spezia in Liguria reached 1m teu, an increase of 14.1%. Volumes at the Medcenter Container Terminal (MCT) in Gioia Tauro, Calabria suffered in the first six months of the year due to strategic decisions by shippers, but rebounded during the second half. MCT handled 2.9m teu in total, a decrease of 6.9% year-on-year.
Uncertainties over the expansion of harbour infrastructure led to slight declines in container volumes at Livorno and Ravenna. In total, the Italian facilities handled 5.4m teu in 2006, 2.1% down on 2005.
“At the beginning of 2006 the concentration on the carriers’ side led to fluctuations in container volumes at the terminals,” said Emanuel Schiffer, chairman of the group executive board. “The handling figures show how urgently investment is needed in the expansion of the harbour infrastructures. This applies to Italy just as it does to Germany. In accordance with the projections of our customers, we again anticipate a two-figure growth for 2007.”