Freight News, Sea

Hamburg bucks the trend

[ August 30, 2022   //   ]

Hamburg’s container throughput in the first half of 2022 was more positive than expected, with total throughput of 4.4 million TEU representing growth of 0.9%, said the port authority. This was at a time when the major competing ports of Antwerp-Bruges, Rotterdam and Bremen all reported an average downturn of 4.6%.

A 2.7% fall in total throughput in Hamburg – 61.8 million tonnes,  was explained by weaker bulk cargo handling, which was down by 17.6 million tonnes, or 8.9%.

This was partly the result of stiffer EU sanctions against Russia, along with changes dictated by the market in the trading and transport of raw materials.

Chief executive of Port Hamburg Marketing, Axel Mattern, commented: “The first half of 2022 confronted companies in the Port of Hamburg, their workers, also all our logistics partners and port customers, with very special challenges. The war in Ukraine, for instance, led to far-reaching sanctions in foreign trade that affected and will further affect seaborne cargo throughput in the Port of Hamburg. Together with the almost complete cessation of container transport with Russian ports, another consequence of the Russian attack on Ukraine – apart from downturns in general cargo handling – was also a steep reduction in bulk cargo handling.”

Mattern pointed out that not only war in Ukraine, but also the repercussions of the global corona pandemic, will continue to cause transport and supply bottlenecks for trade and industry. On many routes, this is leading to longer transit times and steeply increased freight rates.

With the completion of alterations to the navigation channel in January, ships can now handle more containers per call in Hamburg with 117 ultra large container ships immediately taking advantage of this during the first half of 2022.

Work on installing shore power at the Burchardkai, Tollerort and Eurogate terminals started in the first half of 2022 and trial operation is due to start in 2023.