HAMBURG: More manoeuvring space for big ships, faster berth assignment and improved safety of navigation: Well within the schedule, both in terms of time and money, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) recently completed the project “Redesigning the Entrance to the Vorhafen Harbour Basin”. The widened Vorhafen basin access benefits both container shipping and cruise shipping. For one, the tidal (time) windows available to inbound and outbound ships are longer now and the manoeuvring space for big ships in the Tollerort area has increased. For two, it is now possible for cruise ships with a beam of 40 metres (formerly 32.3 metres) to berth at the Cruise Center Altona. Moreover, additional waiting berths for feeders can later be provided, which will help reduce vessel movements in this highly frequented section of the port.
The Vorhafen harbour basin is the approach to the cargo terminals in Steinwerder. Its location along the main current of the Norderelbe combined with the former river bank geometries had created river current conditions that only allowed ships with a maximum width of 370 metres to enter and leave the basin. The now completed widening project permits the passage of vessels with a beam of up to 400 metres.
“The widened Vorhafen basin entrance has made vessel traffic management more efficient, easier to plan and safer,” says Jens Meier, Chairman of the Management Board of the HPA, and adds, “With the now optimised waterside access we have added another important piece to the port’s infrastructure that will further increase the competitive edge of the Port of Hamburg and benefit both container shipping and cruise shipping.”
Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation explains, “We are developing the port with an eye on the future, and the infrastructure must be upgraded and expanded accordingly. This project is another milestone in the development of the port. Shipping companies and terminal operators will benefit in particular.”