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HAMBURG: February 18, 2019. The Port of Hamburg reports a 2.7 percent increase in railfreight to 46.8 millions tons last year including a 4.7 percent rise in TEUs handled to 2.44 million.

This topped the 2016 record and extends Hamburg’s position as Europe’s leading rail port claimed Jens Meier, CEO of Hamburg Port Authority. "The positive figures for the Port Railway are a success that we achieved together with our partners last year. We can be justly proud of this performance."

The increase included TEU rail traffic to and from China as the country remained the port’s largest trading partner. One in three of all containers – by rail or sea – are to or from China with over 235 rail connections along the New Silk Road.

Hamburg China rail“Having handled around 4.8 million TEU for or from China, compared to other locations in Europe, Hamburg is the main hub for China freight by a wide margin,” said Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing. “Hamburg is the central freight handling hub for transport along both the maritime and overland Silk Road. “We shall be further strengthening and expanding our location in terms of transport geography for the benefit of our worldwide port customers,” he added.

Mattern said Hamburg was unrivalled in offering such a variety of rail and sea services with China: “A dense network of around 2,000 container train connections, excellent autobahn infrastructure, a host of possibilities for transport by truck and inland waterway craft, as well as an airport with an airfreight centre, justify Hamburg’s claims as a leading logistics hub.”

Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg minister of Economics & Transport said work on dredging the Elbe river to accommodate larger containerships at all tides has now begun after years of opposition. “We shall be implementing the project as swiftly as possible and hope that no delays will arise. I want to express my thanks that shipping companies have remained loyal to us for decades. But I also want to tell them just what Hamburg has to offer with its port.”

Once the Elbe has been deepened, the port expects export and import container and bulk volumes to rise 18,000 tons per annum as megacarriers with slot capacities of over 21,000 TEU are already being cleared. "The order book for the new generation of the Mega Carrier is full. We are raring to go with carrying out all necessary preparations, so that even the 23,000-TEU vessels can make it safely into the Port of Hamburg,“ declared Meier.

The Port is forecasting a 3-4 percent rise in container transport “and a stable outcome for bulk cargo handling” this year.

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