Ports & Terminals Review 2019: Port of Hamburg, Germany

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Hansaport is Germany’s largest seaport terminal for dry bulk cargo. Copyright HHM/Michael Lindner.

Posted December 12, 2019

Raw materials form one indispensable bedrock for modern industrial and services societies. Germany is one of the world’s leading industrial countries, making it dependent on a reliable flow of essential raw materials.

With its specialised bulk cargo terminals, the Port of Hamburg is an essential centre for raw material imports and exports, and of special importance for trading these.

Along with containers and conventional general cargoes, bulk cargoes are an essential field of activity for the Port of Hamburg. Over 30 million t of dry bulk cargoes are handled here every year. These include bulk materials for building, fertilizers, suction cargoes such as grain and feedstuffs, and grab cargoes such as ore and coal. Covered handling facilities and storage areas guarantee safe handling of cargoes sensitive to damp.

For suction cargoes, Hamburg with around 1 million t of silo storage capacity is one of Europe’s top centres. Vessels can berth directly alongside large silos, where high performance equipment is used for discharging and loading.

More than 18 million t of coal and ore are imported annually via Hamburg. The bulk of this dominates Hansaport – Germany’s largest seaport terminal for dry bulk cargoes – in gigantic stacks of coal and ore on a storage area covering 350 000 m2. More than 10% of Hamburg’s total seaborne cargo throughput is handled here. Hansaport offers two berths with a water depth of 15.4 m for ocean-going vessels, as well as additional berths for coasters and inland waterway craft. A very high degree of automation on the grab cranes, conveyor belts and rail handling equipment makes Hansaport an especially high performance handling facility for grab cargoes on an international comparison. Depending on ship size and cargo type, Hansaport can discharge up to 110 000 t in 24 hours. Transport of bulk cargoes inland is by rail or inland waterway vessel. Block trains are handled at a special loading terminal with 15 rail tracks.

A rising world population requires more and more food: worldwide trade in agricultural products is growing to match. Among the ports of Northern Europe, Hamburg is the largest hub for such for agricultural products as grain, oilseeds and feedstuffs. Three terminals in Hamburg cater for handling and storing wheat and other agricultural products. Totalling 255 000 t, G.T.H. Getreide Terminal Hamburg has the largest agricultural product storage capacities in the Port of Hamburg. Another provider is Silo P. Kruse, with capacity of around 80 000 t. This is the only agricultural terminal in Europe where ocean-going ships can be loaded and discharged simultaneously. ADM Hamburg operates silo capacities for 180 000 t of feedstuffs, grain and oilseeds, plus a tank farm for 25 000 t of sweet oils. Also on the site is Europe’s largest oilseed processing and refinery complex for rapeseeds and soybeans as elements for margarines and vegetable oils, bakery products, roasting applications, pharmaceutical glycerine and biodiesel.

In addition, rail plays an important role in transport to the hinterland. 72% of dry bulk goods are transported by rail to the hinterland of the Port of Hamburg.


ADM Hamburg is a specialist for feedstuff, grain and oilseeds. Copyright HHM.

Source: drybulkmagazine.com