Port of Hamburg сontainer throughput down 4.9 percent to 2.3 million TEU in Q3 2020
The Port of Hamburg had shown a 16.2 percent loss in that quarter. The negative effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic are still affecting developments in the Port of Hamburg’s cargo throughput, the company said in its release.
However, according to Port of Hamburg Marketing’s (HHM) assessment, the results in the third quarter give reason to be optimistic that the double-digit decrease in turnover has ended. It resulted in particular from a downswing in numerous economic sectors and lower demand for consumer goods. In HHM’s opinion, the third quarter showed signs of a beginning recovery.
In the first three quarters of the year, 93.2 million metric tons of seaborne cargo were loaded or discharged in the Port of Hamburg’s terminals. That marks a drop of 10.7 percent compared to the previous year. Both major segments of cargo throughput were affected and remained significantly below the levels reached a year earlier. General cargo declined 9.9 percent to 65.2 million tons and bulk cargo was down 12.4 percent to 28 million tons. In container throughput, 6.3 million TEU (20-foot standard container units) were handled on Hamburg’s quays in the first three quarters. That represents an annualized decrease of 9.9 percent.
Developments in container traffic in the first three quarters varied among the Port of Hamburg’s ten most important trade partners. Positive developments in trade with other countries could not make up for the 11.3 percent drop in seaborne container shipping with China, which is Hamburg’s most important trade partner by far. Furthermore, Hamburg’s seaborne container throughput for other countries besides China also showed up to double-digit decreases: Russia (-15.1 percent), Sweden (-11.8 percent), South Korea (-11.8 percent), Denmark (-3.4 percent), and Poland (-9.6 percent).
Countries among the Port of Hamburg’s top ten trade partners that showed growth in container traffic were Singapore (up 7.1 percent), the UK (up 41.0 percent), and Malaysia (up 5.5 percent), along with the USA (up 0.1 percent). The USA ranks second for container throughput in Hamburg and still showed growth in the first three quarters of the year with a total of 439,000 TEU.
All in all, imports via the Port of Hamburg decreased by 14.4 percent, while exports were down by 5.5 percent. A drop in steel production was responsible for lower volumes in ore and coal imports. On the other hand, agribulk showed positive growth during the first three quarters, reaching a volume of 5.6 million tons, an increase of 20.1 percent. Significantly higher exports of grain and fertilizers were the main causes of this very favorable development in cargo throughput.