totalling 92.4mn tonnes, the Port of Hamburg's growth rate in
2001 was 8.5% up on the previous year. The annual volume total
anticipated after publication of first half returns was thus handsomely
exceeded. In the second half of 2001, growth continued at virtually
at the same pace, and this also applied to containerized cargo.
thus among the small group of European ports to achieve substantial
growth in 2001. The port succeeded yet again in gaining market
share. With growth accelerating by 8.5% generally and with container
traffic up by 10.4%, Hamburg reported the highest growth rates
anywhere in Europe. In all cargo-handling categories, i.e., containers,
conventional and bulk cargo, volume was up on the previous year's
results. Rotterdam and Antwerp reported lower volumes of cargo
handled. The Bremen ports achieved a slight advance of 2.7%. For
the first time Hamburg achieved faster growth than its partner
represent about 54% of all cargoes handled. Here Hamburg performed
considerably better than its competitors, indeed by a considerable
margin. The number of containers handled advanced by 10.4% to
4.7mn TEU. The worldwide economic downturn in 2001 caused stagnation
in the quantity of containers handled by the world's top ten container
ports. Following attainment in the two previous years of increases
in volumes generally in excess of 10%, last year Hamburg achieved
the second strongest growth after Shanghai and climbed from 9th
to 8th place in the world container port rankings. Hamburg also
strengthened its place as the second largest container port in
the headlong economic growth of what are known as the Asian "tiger
states" of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and other countries in
Southeast Asia, was interrupted by the Asian economic crisis.
This was triggered by shortfalls in export revenues for these
countries. They depend to a considerable extent on the manufacture
and export of electrical and electronic goods.
downturn in certain countries of Asia had also been caused by
slack demand in worldwide trade in electrical goods. Demand for
computer hardware and accessories has been falling since the end
The Far Eastern
Freight Conference estimates that last year cargo stagnated in
traffic between Europe and East Asia. Westbound traffic from East
Asia to Europe that has normally powered growth with annual increases
averaging 10%, also stagnated in 2001. Import volumes from the
tiger states, and Taiwan in particular, were actually falling
two years ago of volume increases amounting to between 7-8% prompted
shipowners to invest in a fleet expansion programme. The bulk
of the new tonnage was laid down two years ago. These moves have
caused considerable surpluses, and to the laying up of some ships
at the end of the year 2001 as well as the suspension of certain
services until further notice.
traffic between Hamburg and Asia as a whole increased by 6.7%.
With a total volume of around 790,000 TEU, China is Hamburg's
most important trading partner. This makes Hamburg the most significant
cargo-handling centre in Europe for goods from this vast country.
On container traffic, all the leading Chinese carriers are customers
in Hamburg. Among these are COSCO, China Shipping Container Line
and Sinotrans. Hamburg offers the most frequent sailings to China
of any port in Northern Europe. As in the previous year, China
accounted for the largest slice of container traffic growth of
any country in East Asia. Such traffic was 13.5% up on the previous
year. It proved impossible to sustain the previous year's volume
in container traffic between Hamburg and Taiwan. Reduced imports
from Japan also meant that total traffic fell slightly. With Korea,
a shortfall in imports was more than offset by increased exports.
of all container handling in Hamburg is in trade with Asia. Many
leading liner services and alliances of shipping companies have
concentrated their services on Hamburg as main port for North
Europe, for the most part further strengthening these last year.
these are such consortia of shipping companies as the Grand Alliance,
New World Alliance and the groups centred on the Korean shipowners
Hanjin and the French shipowners CMA-CGM. A new weekly service
to East Asia with China as the centrepiece was inaugurated by
New World Alliance in July 2001. In North Europe this service
calls only at Hamburg and Antwerp, with Hamburg as the last port
in Hamburg's volume growth on services with East Asia was the
deployment of larger ships, mainly with a slot capacity of between
5500 and 6500 TEU. Additional new liner services calling at Hamburg
on routes with Asia were set up by Persian shipowners IRISL as
well as a shipping company consortium comprising COSCO, Evergreen,
K-Line and MISC (IEX or India Europe Express) on the route to
India. This IEX service was integrated into the new Indian Subcontinent
Europe Service at the beginning of January 2002. Seven units with
slot capacity of between 1640 TEU and 2700 TEU will be deployed
on the new service. COSCO is meanwhile involved here solely as
a slot charterer.
port cargo handling tops 100mn mark
103mn tonnes, in 2001 the volume of seaborne and inland waterway
cargoes handled in the Port of Hamburg set a fresh record.
With a total
of 3.366mn tonnes, 2001 brought to a halt the decline in recent
years of conventional cargoes handled.
At the moment
the prevalent view on the economic trend in Germany is sceptical.
A marked slowdown in growth in German foreign trade set in during
the final few months of last year. The latest data suggest that
trade with the countries of Asia-of special importance for Hamburg-was
also flagging by the end of 2001. Existing forecasts see no prospect
of any reversal of the trend.
adverse economic situation last year Hamburg succeeded in achieving
traffic growth, this being due to its strong position in the growing
traffic with China. Its favourable location at the intersection
between the North Sea and the Baltic also produced growth in traffic
on feeder services. This effect should also lead to further increases
in container traffic in 2002, although several container shipping
companies have reduced shipping capacity deployed on Far East-Europe
services and/or will be implementing further cuts in February
On the basis
of adjustments so far made, Hamburg will actually be less affected
by these than other ports in Northern Europe, all the more so
since Taiwanese shipowner Evergreen is planning to considerably
augment its East Asia service Hamburg.