Strong Exports Ensure Growth For Port Of Hamburg In 2012 First Half
By Anuja Abraham
In the first six months of 2012 the Port of Hamburg reported total throughput of 65.8 million tons (up 2.7 percent). At 45 million tons or 4.4 million TEU (20-ft standard containers), the container throughput that predominates in Hamburg as a universal port achieved a gain of 1.9 percent. The reason for this relatively modest growth was the total for empty containers, whereas throughput of loaded containers grew up by 4.7 percent to 3.8 million TEU. Weaker growth rates compared to the 2011 first half are explained by the unusually strong growth achieved at that time. The main factor underpinning growth for the Port of Hamburg in the first half of 2012 were exports.
Despite a problematical economic environment in Europe and slackening off in the China trade that is of such particular importance for the Port of Hamburg, both on general and bulk cargoes Germany’s largest universal port achieved a positive result: at 46 million tons, general cargo throughput was up by 3 percent, while bulk goods at 19.8 million tons reported 2.2 percent growth. “Today and in future the Port of Hamburg as a location of industry and logistics plays an important role for the economic development of the coastal region. It is not yet possible to predict how far the current economic situation will have effects on our port. However, I assume that the main part of German imports and exports will still be handled by the German seaports”, stresses Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, Traffic and Innovation.
Around 97 percent of the Port of Hamburg’s total first-half growth was attributable to exports. In the first six months of the year, volume here reached 28.4 million tons, representing a 6.4 percent advance. 79 percent of the distinct growth in outbound trade originated from container cargo, 19 percent from bulk goods and 2 percent from conventional general cargo. These figures reflect the robustness of the German economy and heavy demand abroad for German products. Primarily foreign trade with non-EU-countries proved very strong. “Compared to the other ports in Northern Europe, Hamburg has gained additional market shares. Today’s cargo handling results demonstrate once again how the German export economy and the Port of Hamburg benefit from each other“, explains Jens Meier, managing director of the Hamburg Port Authority. On the import side first-half volume in the Port of Hamburg totaled 37.5 million tons, representing a 0.1 percent increase.