Urgent Need for Dredging, Says Hamburg’s Senator
With total throughput of around 110 million tons, the Port of Hamburg set a new record in the first nine months of 2014. Almost all throughput segments contributed their share to this growth, which at 5.7 percent was outstanding compared to the same period of the previous year.
Container handling, dominating in Hamburg as a universal port, achieved a record mark of 7.4 million TEU (20-ft standard containers). Gaining 6.4 percent here, Hamburg is growing faster than its competitors in Northern Europe.
These reported average growth of 1.9 percent in total throughput and 4.0 percent for container handling. The Port of Hamburg enlarged its market share of container traffic for the period January to September from 26.1 percent to 26.7 percent.
Between January and September, 374 ultra-large containerships with slot capacities of over 10,000 TEU called at Hamburg, up by 23.8 percent or almost one quarter compared to the same period of 2013.
The figures underline that for the sake of the port and shipping generally, the dredging and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe must be implemented. First registrations for ultra-large boxships of over 400 meters in length that will visit Hamburg in 2015 have been already received.
“The Port of Hamburg remains on a successful curve. At the same time, this underlines the urgent need for the navigation channel to be dredged and widened. Now I should like to appeal to all those who care deeply about the Port of Hamburg to make it clear publicly – especially to their international business partners and port customers – that while the project cannot just yet be realized, it is more clearly than ever on course towards its objective”, said Hamburg’s Senator for Economy, Traffic and Innovation, Frank Horch.
As already announced, the Federal Administrative Court (FAC) in Leipzig has decided to prolong its final decision on the deepening and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe River.
In early October, the Court in Leipzig adjourned proceedings by the BUND and NABU environmental associations against the plan approval concerning the dredging of the Lower and Outer stretches of the river Elbe until the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg reaches a decision regarding a pending referral of the interpretive ruling on the Water Framework Directive.
Hopes are high that the final decision on the Elbe deepening and widening will be reached before spring 2015.