Container handling volumes fell by 2.5% at Duisburger Hafen (duisport) last year, with Germany’s premier inland port handling 4.0m teu.
With a share of around 60%, container handling is duisport’s most important business segment.
Accrording to the operator, its container segment performance under “continued difficult conditions” confirms the future “viability of the duisport concept”.
Together with Chinese logistics group COSCO Shipping and other partners, around €100m (US$110m) will be directly invested in infrastructure improvements in the form of a new container terminal.
In this way, the Port of Duisburg will continue its strategy of shifting freight transport, particularly transport from eastern Europe (truck, tractor-trailers, trailers), from road to rail.
The operator believes that the implemented expansion measures and the addition of new customers, particularly in logport VI, will trigger positive impulses for goods handling starting in 2021.
Meanwhile, total goods handling is expected to decline from 65.3m tonnes to approximately 61.1m tonnes.
The drop in total goods handling is due to weakening industry demand and Germany’s move away from coal-based electricity, which led to another significant decrease in bulk cargo. With 20%, the coal and steel segment was below the previous year’s level.
Other factors include the closure of the Öresund bridge, which has significantly impacted the trade with Scandinavia, and weaker demand for preliminary chemical products.
Erich Staake, CEO of duisport, stated: “The exit from coal, the continued crisis in the steel sector, the uncertain political environment associated with the energy transformation, the challenges of digitisation and the apparent economic downturn – all these factors are akin to a second structural transformation for the entire North RhineWestphalia region.
“The diversified business model of Duisburger Hafen AG is well-equipped for these challenges. But even a company as prepared as ours cannot buck a progressively deteriorating trend in the long term.”