Port of Hamburg: Distinct rise in railborne container transport

Drastic change in the trend of conventional general cargo handling; container and total turnover throughput slightly lower

Port of Hamburg: Distinct rise in railborne container transport

In the first half of 2018 the Port of Hamburg achieved total throughput of 66.5 million tons. That represented a moderate downturn of 4.9 per cent , with the downward trend slowing in the second quarter. General cargo throughput at 45.5 million tons (down 2.2 per cent ) and bulk cargo throughput at 21.1 million tons (down 10.4 per cent ) contributed to the total in Hamburg. Bulk cargo represents one-third of the total. This segment caused 71 per cent of the total downturn, with reductions in suction and liquid cargoes being market-driven. However, the 3.1 per cent fall in handling of grab cargoes, the largest sub-segment, accounting for 55 per cent – or 11.6 million tons – of the bulk cargo total, was within the range of normal fluctuations. 

The trend in conventional general cargo handling once again proved very satisfactory, which is also a result of voestalpine Stahl Linz’ imports of steel slabs from Brazil. Up 777,000 tons or 8.0 per cent , in the first half the upward trend first apparent in the fourth quarter of 2017 was maintained. In the first six months of 2018, imports of heavy freight rose by 62.5 per cent to 160,000. Imports of metals and vehicles more than doubled: Those of metals rose by 121.7 per cent to 79,000 tons and those of vehicles rose by 106.4 per cent up to 25,000 tons.

In the first half of 2018 container throughput at 4.3 million TEU was slightly – 2.7 per cent – lower than in the previous year. Handling of fewer empty boxes was the cause of 81 per cent of the fall. In the first half a total of 525,000 empty containers (TEU) were handled, or 15.6 per cent fewer. Handling of boxes stuffed with general cargo at 3.8 million TEU was almost stable, being 0.6 per cent lower.

Railborne container transport achieved a distinct advance, with total handling 5.4 per cent ahead at 1.2 million TEU. In the 2018 first half, the previous year figures were beaten, and even the 2016 record. Landside seaport-hinterland transport by rail therefore developed especially satisfactorily. This also prompted a 2.3 per cent age-point rise in this most environment-friendly carrier’s share of the modal split to 45.1 per cent .