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The Port of Hamburg maintains its position in challenging conditions

Geopolitical and economic challenges weighed on throughput in all North Range ports in 2023. The declining development of the German economy and the subdued consumer sentiment also affected the business of Germany's largest all-purpose port. In 2023, container throughput declined in comparison to the previous year, although a slight recovery occurred in the second half of the year. Bulk cargo throughput, however, remained largely stable, ensuring a consistent supply for Germany's economy. There was a positive development in trade with several American and Southeast Asian countries. Compared to its northern European competitors, the decline in containerised cargo in Hamburg was less pronounced, allowing the Port of Hamburg to maintain its market share.

Strained economic situation affects cargo throughput
In 2023, the terminals in the Port of Hamburg handled a total of 114.3 million tonnes of goods. Seaborne cargo throughput is thus 4.7 percent below the level of the previous year. Container throughput amounted to 7.7 million TEU, decreasing by 6.9 percent. In the first half of 2023, the decline in container throughput amounted to as much as 11.7 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. "When we look at the development of our throughput figures, we are on the same level as our Northern European competitors and are holding our own well compared to other ports. The decline is primarily due to the difficult geopolitical and economic situation that we all are facing," explains Axel Mattern, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

Stable bulk cargo throughput ensures security of supply
Bulk cargo throughput, which is important for the supply of the German economy and industry, remained stable in 2023 at 36.2 million tonnes (-0.2 percent compared to the previous year). With an increase of 8.4 percent to 6.6 million tonnes, the agribulk business in particular recorded strong growth. In the area of liquid cargo, companies increased throughput to 10.6 million tonnes. This equates to a gain of 6.6 percent compared to the previous year. Conversely, the throughput of grabbable cargo fell by 6.2 percent to 19 million tonnes. This was due to reduced power generation from coal as well as an inspection at a steelworks connected to the Port of Hamburg.

Record level of USA traffic
USA traffic continued its positive development of the previous years. In total, 653,000 TEU were handled in 2023 with what has become the Port of Hamburg's second strongest trading partner. This corresponds to a gain of 8 percent compared to 2022. Throughput with India also developed positively. In direct traffic alone, 191,000 TEU – 5.6 percent more containers – were handled with the world's most populous country in the past year.

For more information:
Mathias Schulz
Port of Hamburg
Tel.: +49 40 37709 114

Ralf Johanning
Tel.: +49 40 37709 113

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