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Mega-ships ease through Elbe after fairway widening

VESSELS with a combined width of up to 98 metres can now pass each other in a widened section of the Elbe known as the 'passing box' - a five-kilometre stretch under Federal jurisdiction which now has a width of 385 metres

03 February 2020 - 19:00

VESSELS with a combined width of up to 98 metres can now pass each other in a widened section of the Elbe known as the 'passing box' - a five-kilometre stretch under Federal jurisdiction which now has a width of 385 metres.

At the same time, the fairway along the 36-kilometre stretch between Wedel and the mouth of the Stor has been widened from 300 to 320 metres, enabling ships with a combined width of 92 metres to pass or overtake each other along this segment.



Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg marketing, Axel Mattern, said: 'With the initial fairway widenings of the Elbe, meanwhile completed, we are on a good course, immediately improving the conditions for calls by mega-ships. For shipping and our port customers, this is really gratifying news for the start of the year.'



The holding area at Brunsbuttel has also been completed. This has been available as anchorage since the end of last year - when allocated by the traffic control centre. This offers ships dependent on the tide, and unable to make the tide 'window' for currently unforeseeable reasons, the opportunity of waiting during the new low water phase. The holding area forms an essential element of the safety concept.



Andreas Scheuer, German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, stressed: 'We started dredging operations on the Lower and Outer Elbe at the end of July. In our section, the work on widening has now been completed. As soon as the work in the up-river section of the passing stretch through Hamburg has been completed, the combined width of ships passing can be raised. For shipping, this boosts flexibility, efficiency, capacity and safety. In addition, larger vessels can call and depart simultaneously, the number of mega-containerships can then be more than doubled to 2,800 containerships per year.'


WORLD SHIPPING

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