Hamburg blames 9.3pc box trade decline on China's and Russia's troubles

Feb.14--THE Port of Hamburg posted a 9.3 per cent year-on-year decline in 2015 container throughput to 8.8 million TEU blamed on lower volumes handled with China, Russia and Poland, said the port authority.

"Container traffic with China down by 14.4 per cent and with Russia by 34.4 per cent could not be offset in volume by growth in container traffic with other countries such as Malaysia, India, the United Arab Emirates or Mexico," said Axel Mattern, member of the Port of Hamburg Marketing Executive Board. 

But the port enjoyed higher bulk cargo throughput and strong growth in rail and inland waterway seaport-hinterland traffic. 

But this did not offset what became a 5.4 per cent decline in seaborne traffic to 137.8 million tons crossing Hamburg's docks.

Said Mr Mattern: "Among the ports of northern Europe, the Port of Hamburg has maintained its strong position on container traffic with the Baltic. 

"Compared to ports such as Antwerp and Rotterdam, Hamburg reports seven per cent points higher proportion of transshipment cargo," he said.

"This is one of the reasons that Hamburg is more seriously affected than Antwerp or Rotterdam by weakness in China's foreign trade and Russia's economic problems, for example," he said

A large share of the cargo handled in Hamburg for China and Russia is transshipped via Hamburg, and loaded from oceangoing containerships on to feederships. 

"Since the statistics for worldwide transshipment traffic feature the waterside transfer from the large containership to the feeder or vice versa each time this occurs, any transshipment downturn doubly affects port results," Mr Mattern said.


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