HAMBURG: In the first quarter of 2017, the Port of Hamburg’s total throughput was up by 1.7 percent at 35.4 million tonnes. Growth in Germany’s largest universal port was therefore slightly above the average 1.6 percent for the other major
North Range Ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Bremen/Bremerhaven. Contributing to the Hamburg total, bulk cargo throughput was 6.7 percent higher at 12.2 million tonnes and general cargo handling at 23.1 million tonnes, just 0.7 percent lower. In the former segment, the 12-million-ton mark was exceeded for the first time, and the best quarterly figure achieved since records began. On the export side, general cargo throughput at 11.9 million tons represented growth of 3.4 percent. At 11.2 million tonnes, general cargo imports were somewhat lower, being down by 4.7 percent. First-quarter container throughput at 2.2 million TEU was 0.7 percent lower than in the comparable period of the previous year.
Record figure on bulk cargo handling
One outstanding feature of the first quarter of 2017 was the record figure for bulk cargo throughput. ‘Hamburg does not just do containers. At 12.2 million tonnes, throughput of suction, grab and liquid cargoes achieved 6.7 percent growth. That made Hamburg the only North Range Port to report growth in this segment, underling its position as a universal port for cargoes of all types,” said Egloff. The main elements in the grand total were suction cargoes up 0.4 percent at 2.3 million tonnes, grab cargoes 18.0 percent ahead at 6.4 million tonnes, and liquid cargoes down 5.9 percent at 3.5 million tonnes. Increased handling of coal, coke and ores, as imports, and grain and oil products, as exports, also made a positive impact on the excellent trend in the first quarter.
Renewed growth in rail freight transported on Port of Hamburg’s hinterland services
Around 11 percent of total German rail freight transport starts or ends in the Port of Hamburg. Offering 2000 container block train services per week, Hamburg is Europe’s Rail Port No. 1. In the first quarter of 2017 there was again a positive trend in volume transported on the Port of Hamburg Railway, 0.4 percent higher at 11.6 million. Railborne container transport was also up by 0.4 percent at 587,000 TEU. On 23 March 2017 the starting signal was given for the ‘Hamburg-NRWplus’ cooperation project, aimed at boosting rail’s share of freight transport. Primarily through Port of Hamburg Marketing’s contacts on the market, the two states will promote greater use of rail for freight transport.
The offer of new container block trains like the link between Warstein and Hamburg launched by Warsteiner Brewery at the beginning of the year, ensures greater transport capacity by rail and simplifies the switch of transport from truck to rail. Port of Hamburg Railway and handling terminals in the Port of Hamburg are excellently prepared for further growth in container and bulk goods services by rail.