Europe’s second busiest port, the Port of Hamburg, has posted record figures for the first nine months of the year, with container handling throughput at 7.4m teu, a 6.4% rise.
Driven by trade with Asia, and more specifically China, the German port enlarged its market share of container traffic in Northern Europe from 26.1% to 26.7% over the period from January to September.
The figures compare to overall container handling growth of 4% over the given timeframe in Northern Europe. Total throughput increased by 5.7% in Hamburg to 110m tonnes, which surpassed the regional equivalent of 1.9%.
Axel Mattern, executive board member of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM), said: “Hamburg is profiting especially from the double-digit growth in the container trade with Asia. With 12.8% growth, China particularly, Hamburg’s largest partner in the container trades, contributed to the immense boost in seaborne foreign trade.”
He added: “The Port of Hamburg handled 2.3m teu to and from China in the first nine months of 2014. In direct container trade with Indian ports, in the first three quarters of the year Hamburg achieved a 15.4% advance to 176,000 teu. Development of container trade with Malaysia during this period was also highly satisfactory, advancing by 10.2% to 203,000 teu. Container trade with Africa also made excellent progress, increasing by 28.2%.”
Container trade with the Baltic region was a key part of Hamburg’s success, with 1.8m teu transported by feeders although at a slower growth rate than with Asia – 2.8%.
However, trade with Russian ports was adversely affected by the current economic sanctions, resulting in a figure of 504,000 teu, which is 5.7% below last year’s equivalent.
This fall was despite the weakness of the Rouble encouraging a 21.9% rise in imports from Russia to Hamburg.
Another feature of the first three quarters of the year was a greater number of ultra-large container vessels (UCLVs); Hamburg handled 374, up 23.8% on the first nine months of 2013.
A record yearly figure of 9.7m teu for 2014 is a realistic prospect if trade with China maintains its current growth trend and sanctions with Russia do not worsen.