Strong presence of the port of Hamburg in the province of Salzburg

At present 42 percent of Austria’s total container volume (import and export) is carried via Hamburg

Strong presence of the port of Hamburg in the province of Salzburg

Austria is and remains one of the most important European hinterland markets of the port of Hamburg. And the province of Salzburg is one of the regions with the strongest traffic volume in the segment of containerised general cargo. Against this backdrop, the Hafen Hamburg Marketing office organised an informative event in Anif near Salzburg on June 8th, and reported on the latest developments in seaport hinterland traffic between Hamburg and Austria.

Numerous customers and partners of the transport and shipping industry from Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic accepted the invitation. With 80 participants, the event at Hotel Friesacher, where Hafen Hamburg Marketing and its long-term partner Container Terminal Salzburg (CTS) hosted the event, was booked out. CTS is the most important transhipment terminal in the Salzburg region and one of the most important junctions for rail services to and from Hamburg.

Alexander Till, Director of the port of Hamburg office in Vienna, announced another record result for the port of Hamburg in Austria – about 296,000 TEUs were transported between the port of Hamburg and the Austrian terminals for combined transport in 2016, about 98 percent of that by rail. A total of around 42 percent of Austria’s total container volume is traded via Hamburg.

Alexaner Till stressed the importance of intensive cooperation of the port of Hamburg and the hinterland terminals in Austria, and emphasised on the peculiarities of the Austrian market: because of its geographically central location, Austria was served by many ports. The dominant position of Hamburg in containerised general cargo business results from a high frequency of container block trains connecting Austria and Hamburg, and the numerous worldwide liner services offered in Hamburg. Moreover, the import and export flows between Austria and Hamburg were perfectly balanced, so that railway operators are fully utilized in both directions.

Alexander Till is optimistic that Hamburg can hold its place at the top. “As there are no significant increases on the Austria-Hamburg route, the trains can carry up to 92 TEUs with only one locomotive. And this allows very attractive rates for pre and on-carriage.”

At the end of his speech, Till illuminated the competitive situation. In the past few years, the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp have constantly lost market shares in the container sector. This is attributable, in particular, to the greater distance, and the fact that in the Netherlands and Belgium the electricity supply for the railway has a different frequency than in Germany and Austria. This means: either special multi-system locomotives have to be used in cross-border traffic, or the locomotive must be changed at the border. Both options imply significant additional costs.

The southern ports, in particular the Slovenian port of Koper, were able to expand their position in Austrian hinterland traffic. Thus, Koper now ranks second after Hamburg.