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Sharp surge in Russian traffic via Hamburg after WTO accession
Russia is the second-most important trading partner for the Port of Hamburg in terms of seaborne container handling. With a total volume of approx. 675,000 standard containers (TEU) handled between Hamburg and the Russian ports, the volume of container traffic was up by a further 13.3 per cent in 2012, consolidating the lead in foreign trade with Europe and overseas via Hamburg. This positive trend is also attributable to Russia’s decision to join the WTO, resulting in associated simplifications in commercial law as well as the dismantling of trade barriers.“We’re particularly pleased that Hamburg managed to raise its share of container traffic in St Petersburg to 25.3 per cent last year. That’s 1.6 percentage points more than in 2011, which indicates enlarged market share within the North Range ports for this route,” emphasises Axel Mattern, executive board member of Port of Hamburg Marketing. Just under 95 per cent of the total direct traffic between Russia and Hamburg are handled via the seaport of St Petersburg, Russia’s so-called “Window to Europe”. This Russian Baltic Sea port itself handled roughly 2.53 million TEU in 2012, equivalent to an increase by 6.7 per cent year-on-year. Alongside St Petersburg, the Russian Baltic Sea ports of Kaliningrad and Ust-Luga as well as Archangelsk und Murmansk on the Arctic Ocean are called at by ships sailing from Hamburg.
The most important commodities exported from Russia in seaborne container traffic via Hamburg include hard coal, Diesel oil, crude oil, paper, copper and chemical substances. Imports to Russia predominantly comprise meat, motor vehicles, fruit preserves, electrical appliances and paper. Russia is also one of the key trading partners of the Hanseatic port in conventional general cargo handling, e.g. for iron, steel and other metals, as well as machinery.
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