Ocean Carrier Review
Pacific Northwest Ports
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At 131 mill tons in 2012 total throughput in the Port of Hamburg remained slightly below previous yr
In 2012 the Port of Hamburg’s seaborne cargo throughput reached 130.9 million tons (- 1.0 percent). General cargo throughput at 91.5 million tons was just below the previous year‘s (- 1.2 percent). Bulk cargo throughput at 39.4 million tons (- 0.4 percent) also remained just below the 2011 total. At 8.9 million TEU (20-ft standard containers) in 2012 total container handling predominating in Hamburg was slightly lower (- 1.7 percent). With this result, Hamburg remains the second largest container port in Europe and consolidates its 14th place among container ports worldwide.
For the Port of Hamburg, the reluctance to consume and invest apparent in Europe in the second half of 2012 especially affected throughput of imported goods. At 73.9 million tons, these were down by 3 percent. By contrast, exports by sea at 57.1 million tons (+ 1.9 percent) once again increased. This positive trend could be explained by uninterrupted worldwide demand for German products, among other factors. The Port of Hamburg is further strengthening its position as “Gateway to the World” for German exports. Altogether 3.8 million loaded export containers (TEU) were handled in Hamburg during 2012. That corresponds to 4.4 percent growth by comparison with the previous year. The positive throughput trend on exports compensated for a 3.6 percent downturn in imports of loaded containers, which reached a volume of 3.8 million TEU. The slight (- 1.7 percent) downturn in total container throughput to 8.9 million TEU is primarily attributable to lower throughput of empty boxes. At 1.2 million empty containers (TEU), total handling in this segment was 12.1 percent lower than in 2011. With the exception of Asia, the Port of Hamburg succeeded in boosting container traffic with all other continents. The Asia trade traditionally has a great importance for the Port of Hamburg. The 8.6 percent downturn in this trade to 4.7 million TEU made a corresponding impact on the Port of Hamburg’s total container throughput. Lower Asia traffic can primarily be explained by the problematical economic environment in Europe, the lack of a “peak season” for Christmas in 2012, and a cooling off in Chinese foreign trade. Container throughput with China (incl. Hong Kong), Hamburg‘s leading trade partner in container traffic, was distinctly weaker in 2012 at 2.6 million TEU (- 12.3 percent). Steep growth in container throughput with India (+ 7.1 percent), which in direct traffic with Indian ports reached 210,000 TEU in 2012, was not sufficient to compensate for the drop in the China trade. In 2012 Europe as Hamburg’s second largest container trade after Asia, reported an advance of 6.1 percent to 2.7 million TEU. Container traffic with the United Kingdom was strongly ahead at 156,000 TEU (+ 30.2 percent), while container throughput with Russia as the Port of Hamburg’s second-ranking trading partner reached 675,000 TEU (+ 13.3 percent). The Finland trade was slightly down at 334,000 TEU (- 0.6 percent), with Poland at 263,000 TEU achieving an advance of 10.6 percent.
A further core region for the Port of Hamburg’s container traffic is the America trade with a total of 1.1 million TEU. The USA achieved notable growth of 28.1 percent to 380,000 TEU, reaching fourth position among Hamburg’s main trading partners for container handling. The trend was also positive on container traffic with the West Coast of South America that grew by 8.8 percent, reaching 120,000 TEU. Container throughput with ports on the East Coast of South America, however, remained 7.8 percent below the previous year’s at 279,000 TEU. The container trade with Africa achieved a positive result at 238,000 TEU (+ 12.8 percent). The Port of Hamburg’s volume on container throughput with ports in the Australia/Pacific trade reached 43,000 TEU (+ 15.8 percent).
On non-containerized general cargo, at 2.1 million tons total throughput was 15.6 percent lower than the previous year’s. While exports of conventional cargo at 1.4 million tons were satisfactory (+ 0.1 percent), in 2012 imports at 730,000 tons
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