Hamburg quarterly cargo falls 7.9pc, as boxes slip 6.6pc to 2.2 million TEU

GERMANY's main Port of Hamburg suffered a first quarter year-on-year 7

18 May 2020 - 19:00

GERMANY's main Port of Hamburg suffered a first quarter year-on-year 7.9 per cent drop in seaborne cargo to 31.9 million tons and a 6.6 per cent decline in container volume to 2.2 million TEU.

Container hinterland transport services remains comparatively stable, while the drop in demand for transshipment handling was more obvious, said the port authority, reported the American Journal of Transportation.

The slackening of import and export flows can be explained by the interruption to transport and supply chains caused by the impact of the corona crisis, they said.

'The partial shutdown of the Chinese economy, resulting in blank sailings in shipping, has led to lower cargo handling in Hamburg as well,' said Axel Mattern, joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

'We assume that with its large workforce and well-established enterprises, the Port of Hamburg will successfully surmount this crisis,' said Mr Mattern.

At 579,400 TEU, the total number of containers handled during the first quarter in the Port of Hamburg for China, its most important trading partner, was 14.6 per cent lower.

Following in second place in the ranking of Hamburg's container partners, in the first quarter the US accounted for 146,100 TEU, still reporting 20.7 per cent growth.

'This strikingly good trend in container services with the US is attributable to four container services newly started from Hamburg at the beginning of 2019. These made excellent progress and ensured larger throughput volumes, above all with US east coast ports,' said Mr Mattern.

In third place with 111,000 TEU, Singapore also achieved an advance in the first three months of the year. Growth of 10.5 per cent was reported for seaborne container traffic, a ranking attributed to the transshipments from other Asian countries via Singapore.

In Hamburg, by contrast, the transshipment sector, or container throughput between ocean-going and feeder vessels, was especially affected by the corona crisis with a decline of 10.8 per cent to 772,000 TEU.

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