In Bremerhaven, Eurogate increased its container volumes by 12.4% to 5.5m teu, from 4.9m teu in 2007. In Hamburg, volumes declined by 7.7% to 2.7m teu. Contship Italia posted a handling volume of 5.7m teu, a drop of 2.1%. For the first time, containers were also handled in Tangier, Morocco. By year’s end, the Eurogate Tanger terminal, which began operations in stages from October 2008, had handled 64,000 teu.
In December, as economic conditions worsened, the group’s container terminals in Bremerhaven handled 4.3% fewer boxes than the same month in 2007 and Hamburg saw a fall of 9.8%. Its Italian terminal facilities, by contrast, recorded an increase of 12.9%, largely due to new customers at the Cagliari International Container Terminal (CICT), the Grand Alliance consortium and shipping line UASC.
“All container terminals are currently feeling the pinch of the economic crisis,” said Emanuel Schiffer, chairman of the Eurogate Group board. “For 2009 we are expecting a single-digit drop in volumes, but we are nevertheless optimistic with regard to long-term container traffic development. For this reason, we are adhering to our major investment projects such as the new container terminal in Wilhelmshaven, westward expansion in Hamburg and upgrading of Berth 3 in Hamburg.”