Total throughput in the Port of Hamburg in the first six months of 2013 increased 3.5 percent from the prior-year period to 68.1 million tons, while container volumes were up 2.1 percent to 4.5 million TEUs.
According to the port authority, other northern European ports on average lost about 0.4 percent in volume by weight and 1.2 percent in container units.
Hamburg said container exports grew 2.6 percent to 2.2 million TEUs, with imports rising 1.7 percent to 2.3 million TEUs. Loaded TEU volume was 2.4-percent higher to 3.9 million TEUs, continuing a three-year trend of handling fewer empty containers.
General cargo throughput was up 3.1 percent to 47.4 million tons, while bulk cargo handling grew 4.4 percent to 20.7 million tons.
The port authority said its growth has been sustained by improvements in global trade and the development of new Baltic container services. A total of 1.1 million TEUs were transported between Hamburg and the Baltic region, an increase of 8 percent from the first half of 2012. There are seven new feeder services in the Port of Hamburg serving the Baltic region.
German trade officials estimate the nation's exports will grow 3 percent in 2013, down from 5 percent annual growth in recent years. But the port authority says its export throughput could still increase if exports from neighboring countries grows. It forecasts a year-end throughput of 136 million tons, up 4 percent from last year, with container volume up 3 percent to 9.1 million. - Eric Kulish