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Hamburg sees 6.8% H1 container growth despite delays

Hamburg sees 6.8% H1 container growth despite delays
The Port of Hamburg has reported a 6.8% year-on-year increase in container handling in the first half of 2014, despite average boxship delays of 70 hours.

Total containers handled during the period amounted to 4.8m teu, and included a 7.4% growth in imports.

Meanwhile, together with other cargoes, the port’s total cargo handling was 72.6m tons, a 6.6% increase over H1 2013, in spite of major construction works taking place in and around the port.

Port marketing executive board member Axel Mattern explained: “we are especially pleased that in spite of these difficult conditions the Port of Hamburg can be competitive in the North Range and so successful, even gaining extra cargo volumes.”

Other growth was reported in general cargo, which increased by 0.8% to 930,000 tons, and bulk cargo, which grew 1.6% to 21m tons.

Growth in sea freight has also been responsible for a number of new jobs at the port, according to Inglo Egloff, fellow executive board member of Port of Hamburg marketing. “In the meantime there are more workers employed in the handling terminals than in the boom year 2008. The port economy is specifically seeking and employing more workers.”

If growth continues at the current rate, says Matten, record cargo handling of 145m tons would be “possible” in 2014, as well as container throughput of 9.7m teu.

“In 2014 we can reach a plus of 4% in sea cargo handling and in container handling a 5% increase, if everything goes according to plan,” said Matten, adding that the prediction hinges on further teu growth in China and no increasing limitations on foreign trade with Russia through sanctions. “This would top the previous record achieved in 2008 of 140m tons of sea cargo.”