The positive result on general cargo was mainly by growth in the handling loaded containers; the total of 5.8m teu represents an increase of 1.8%, mainly for export, which, at around 2.9m teu were 6.9% higher than the corresponding period in 2011. This positive trend offset the 2.6% downturn in imports of loaded containers, where volume reached 2.9m teu.
At 1.6m tonnes, total volume of non-containerised general cargo was 15.4% down on the comparable period 2011, while the trend for exports, including one million tonnes of conventional cargo, was positive (up 2.6%), primarily attributable to exports of vehicles, heavy cargoes and project cargo. Throughput of imports at 545,000 tonnes was weaker (down 36.2%).
Although the port booked an 8.3% reverse in throughput in the Asian container trade at 3.6m teu, container throughput in all other trades proved to be on a growth path. The downturn in the Asian trade was primarily caused by a problematical economic environment in Europe and the cooling-off in China’s foreign trade; this weakened container throughput with China (including Hong Kong) at 2m teu (down 11.6%).
The port saw a 7.3% increase in European trade; growth of 16.8% to the Americas and a 10.9% increase with Africa. Container traffic on the Australia/Pacific trade was up by 9.6%. In the Americas trade, the highest growth was in traffic with the USA, which climbed 46.9%, making it the port’s fourth most important trading partner in container traffic.
“In the first three quarters of the year the Port of Hamburg mainly profited from the strong trend in exports, which not only ensured a steady result on container throughput, but also growing export quantities in the bulk goods sector,” said Claudia Roller, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.
“Against the background of a cooling down of the economy in Europe and other parts of the world this year, we reckon a total throughput of around 132m tonnes. Container throughput will be of the order of 9m teu,” she said.