The port handled 8.73 million TEUs (7.63 loaded containers and 1.10 million empty containers), nearly equal to the 8.82 million TEUs handled in 2017 (7.63 loaded containers and 1.19 million empty containers.) That included 4.6 million imported containers and 4.2 million exported containers.
Containerized cargo accounted for most of the cargo moving through the port. As measured by weight, the port handled 135.1 million tons of cargo in 2018, which included 89.4 million of containerized cargo, 44.2 million of bulk cargo and 1.5 million of non-containerized general cargo.
Of the 8.7 million TEUs of containers Hamburg handles, 3.3 TEUs million is transshipped to other ports.
Of the remaining 5.4 million TEUs shipped to “hinterland” destinations, 2.44 million TEUs or 45.2 percent of moved to or from final destination by rail in 2018. That was a 4.7 percent increase as measured by TEUs. Most hinterland cargo — 52.5 percent — moves with trucks and 2.4 percent in barges.
Jens Meier, CEO of Hamburg Port Authority, said, “The positive figures for the Port Railway are a success that we achieved together with our partners last year. We can be justly proud of this performance.”
Earlier this month, Global Port Tracker, published by Hackett Associates Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics said there has been a "steady shift of market shares away from the German ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven towards its Western neighbors Rotterdam and Antwerp, but also to Wilhelmshaven."
The report noted that "Due to their geographic location, the German ports are seldom the first port of call on intercontinental liner services, so some of the import cargo is discharged in other ports beforehand. Ships do not arrive in fully loaded in the German Bight, but with 1-2 metres less. Yet with the introduction of the latest 20,000+ TEU vessels, this is still too much."
Port Tracker said "First, we saw transhipment move from the German ports to Rotterdam and Antwerp so the Asia services could still call in Bremerhaven and/or Hamburg. Recently, we see an increasing number of services turning in Antwerp or Rotterdam. While no alliance can afford not to call in the two major German ports, they can use transhipment or interlining strategies to avoid the need to call there with every line."