Hamburg and Latvia sign a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation

Hamburg and Latvia sign a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation

The Port of Hamburg has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Latvian Ministry of Transport which aims to strengthen and expand cooperation between the Latvian ports of Riga, Ventspils and Liepāja and those in the Hamburg Metropolitan region.

The MoU partners agreed to a more intensive exchange of data and experience, joint drafting and implementation of international cooperation projects and further cooperation in developing intermodal transport services between Europe and Asia.

Kaspar Ozolinš, under-secretary of state in the Latvian ministry of transport, said: “Latvia and Germany are already partners, but further scope still exists for improved and stronger cooperation with the most significant regions and areas of the economy.”

In 2018, seaborne container throughput between the Port of Hamburg and Latvia reached a total of 100,175 teu and the German port is linked with Riga, Latvia’s largest port, by four liner services.

The three Latvian ports of Riga, Ventspils and Liepāja handled a total of 66m tonnes in 2018, making them market leaders in the Baltic, while Hamburg serves as a central hub for the region.

Ingo Egloff, joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM), said: “Trade and shipping have linked Hamburg and Latvia since the days of the Hanseatic League. That is all the more reason for us to pool resources to demonstrate our close alliance on the global stage.”

Good infrastructure links with the Port of Lübeck also offers optimal solutions for trailer and ferry services to and from Latvia, with its Stena Line ferry link with Liepāja also making it a significant hub for German-Latvian trade flows.

Sebastian Jürgens, CEO of the Port of Lübeck, said: “For services to the Baltic states and Russia, Latvia and Liepāja in particular, is a strategically important partner. We are intending to do a great deal to further boost the Lübeck – Liepāja axis.”

With Latvian and other partners, HHM has been investigating the opportunities for a multimodal link between the Baltic countries and the European mainline network as part of the EU project ‘North Seal Baltic Connector of Regions – NSB core’.

The EU project will be implemented in April 2019 and one of its most important aims is to open up fresh potential for business by integrating Rail Baltica into the European rail system.

An application for CoReX, a follow-up of this project, was submitted in January and this scheme aims to connect Rail Baltica with the Belt and Road Initiative and to develop measures in support of opening up fresh areas of business for the partners involved.