Hamburg volumes dip as other HHLA box terminals enjoy strong Q1
THE Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) first-quarter Hamburg volumes may have declined, but international operations at Tallinn and Odessa helped group container volumes to increase by 2
THE Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) first-quarter Hamburg volumes may have declined, but international operations at Tallinn and Odessa helped group container volumes to increase by 2.2 per cent to 1.86 million TEU in the first quarter of the year.
Growth at its German operations remained stubbornly flat - a feature that has been a hallmark at Hamburg for the past few years. The three Hamburg container terminals recorded a 1.3 per cent decline in throughput to 1.7 million TEU for the three months to April.
The operator said: 'This was due to the changes of services (addition of several services to North America, disposal of a Far East service). Feeder traffic stagnated on the Baltic routes.
'The proportion of seaborne handling by feeders increased slightly by 0.4 percentage points to 23.5 per cent (compared with) the previous year's 23.1 per cent.'
Overall, the group's container terminal segment fared well over the three-month period, as revenues climbed 4.8 pe cent to EUR200.9 million (US$226 million), pushing divisional profits up 15.6 per cent to EUR37.8 million
Group-wide revenues were EUR339.8 million, while EBIT rose strongly by 26.1 per cent to EUR55.7 million, largely thanks to strong growth in intermodal volumes which rose by 13.7 per cent.
HHLA chairwoman Angela Titzrath explained that much of the growth in container terminal profits was due to a temporary increase in storage fees and a rise in rail share.
'The results provide a firm basis for us to reach our guidance for the year,' she said. 'We are therefore intensifying our efforts to systematically implement our strategy, which is focused on strengthening our creative power and future viability.'
International volumes at the Odessa and Tallinn terminals almost doubled, from 81,000 TEU in the same period last year, to 143,000 TEU. However, the operator noted that this was largely down to Tallinn being brought online during the second quarter of last year.
Although not the only operator at Hamburg, HHLA controls a large share of volumes at the port, which has struggled to compete with its north European rivals in recent years.
Throughput declined for the second consecutive year at Hamburg in 2018, and these early signs don't look good, especially with rival Antwerp recording growth, albeit marginal, in Q1, reports London's Loadstar.