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Geopolitics impacts Port of Hamburg as container volume drops

Posted on February 22, 2023

The Port of Hamburg has handled a total of 8.3 million TEU during 2022, reflecting a 5.1 per cent decrease from its container volume in 2021.

Despite a positive trend in the first half of the year according to a quarterly comparison, throughput fell steeply by 12.3 per cent in the fourth quarter.

“With Christmas coming, in the final quarter, we should normally see a rise in throughput totals. That failed to happen last year. The main reasons were high energy costs and inventories in the industry,” explained Axel Mattern, Port of Hamburg Marketing’s CEO.

READ: Port of Hamburg to welcome Germany’s first green ammonia import terminal

Hamburg terminals handled 119.9 million tonnes in 2022. This represented a 6.8 per cent decrease from the previous year.

Imports came in at 4.2 million TEU at the port, 6.1 per cent lower than in 2021.

The port of Hamburg exported 4.1 million TEU, reflecting a 4.1 per cent fall from the previous year.

There was a further increase in calls by Megamax container vessels, the German port reported.

“With capacities of over 18,000 TEU, vessels in the ‘Megamax’ class made 234 calls in Hamburg, or six percent more than last year,” the port said in a statement.

The port also stated that there was a 5 per cent increase in calls by the second largest category – vessels between 14,000 and 17,999 TEU.

The Port of Hamburg has attributed much of its 2022 annual results to geopolitical issues, particularly the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

The war in Ukraine plus the related sanctions against Russia, along with worldwide supply chain problems caused by the corona pandemic, impacted Port of Hamburg throughput during the year,” explained Mattern.

This was compounded by labour disputes in the port at the beginning of the second half of the year and very high inflation in the course of the autumn, which caused consumer spending to fall to a low point.”

This annual report comes more than a month after Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) commissioned Linde Engineering to build a hydrogen filling station within the scope of its Clean Port & Logistics innovation cluster.


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