THE Port of Hamburg achieved a 2.9 per cent increase in seaborne cargo throughput in the first nine months of the year, at 95.8 million tonnes.
Bulk cargo throughput was up 6.1 per cent at 29.7 million tonnes, with general cargo up a modest 1.6 per cent to 66.1 million tonnes of which 65.2 million tonnes were containerised, representing a gain of 1.5 per cent.
In the first three quarters a total of 6.5 million TEU were hoisted across the quay walls of Hamburg's container terminals, a 2.4 per cent gain.
Despite this positive throughput trend, the Port of Hamburg was not yet able to fully overhaul last year's downturn caused by Covid-19, the port said in a statement.
Port of Hamburg marketing's joint CEOs Axel Mattern and Ingo Egloof said they were pleased that pre- and post-voyage railborne container transport set a new record at 2.1 million TEU.
"That represents an 8.3 per cent advance," stressed Mr Egloff. "At 709,000 TEU, the Port of Hamburg posted the highest quarterly total in its history for containers transported," added Mr Mattern. The Port of Hamburg accordingly further strengthened its position as Europe's largest rail port.
The Port of Hamburg's main trade lanes, with the exception of Australia/Pacific (-0.1 per cent), the other container trade lanes of the Americas (+6.7 per cent), Asia (+1.4 per cent), Africa (+4.5 per cent) and Europe (+1.6 per cent) all recorded positive throughput growth.
The first stage of implementing fairway adjustment produced higher draft and improved opportunities for ships to pass on the Elbe for liner services calling at Hamburg, the port said in its statement.
The containerships calling Hamburg in large numbers were the chief beneficiaries. A total of 163 extra-large containerships with a capacity of over 18,000 TEU were cleared in Hamburg, a gain of 19.9 per cent.
"With implementation of the Elbe fairway adjustment, we now offer larger vessels improved conditions on the Elbe for sailing and arrival. Final clearance in the course of the next six months will put us in a much improved position compared to our competing ports," said Mr Egloff.
Commenting on further outlook for 2021, the port said worldwide transport chains will remain volatile for the rest of the year.
"Delayed ship's arrivals plus the related delivery postponements also hit the ports. The problems of supply chains meanwhile out of synch will continue to be apparent at the land/sea transport interface. Despite providing 24/7 service, for the terminals a fraught situation will persist on vessel clearance," said Mr Mattern.