With overall handling of 71 million tons and container handling of five million teu (20-foot standard containers), Germany’s largest universal port is also remaining on a course for growth in 2008. Overall, container handling attained an increase of 3.8% in comparison with the previous year’s period during the first six months.

The overall handling, consisting of general and bulk cargo handling, attained an increase of 2.1% in comparison with the first half of 2007.

The marketing organization of the Port of Hamburg ‘Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V.’ (HHM) presented the handling results for the first six months of 2008 at the Port of Hamburg press conference. The press conference took place this year in the offices of the personnel service provider GHB. Both HHM board members Claudia Roller and Dr. J’rgen Sorgenfrei provided information about the developments in the general and bulk cargo handling in the Port of Hamburg for the first half of 2008. Hamburg’s Senator for Economy and Labor Axel Gedaschko emphasized that the city of Hamburg will continue to support the growth course set by the port. In this regard, all required investments would be made. The proceeds from the HHLA IPO in the amount of one billion euro will be completely invested in the port in order to, for example, deepen the Elbe River and expand the terminals. Furthermore, Hamburg will make a decision by the end of 2008 regarding the building of a new motorway crossing the port area.

In this context, Senator Gedaschko requested that the German Federal government must more quickly provide the supplemental funds to finance infrastructure projects necessary for the Port of Hamburg, the ‘heart of German exporting’, said Senator Axel Gedaschko. Jens Meier, Managing Director of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), addressed the increase of planning security in the port in his statement. The joint declaration of the northern states and the Federal government about joint sediment management for the Elbe’s tidal river and the framework agreement between the HPA and the Association of Hamburg Port Operators Regd. with regards to the future leasing of future quaywall charges are important steps for the future of the Port of Hamburg. Managing Director J’rgen Hildebrand provided an overview of the tasks and personnel development at GHB, a Hamburg based personnel service provider.

While the bulk cargo division with 19.8 million tons fell by a modest 3.7% in comparison with the first half of 2007, the general cargo trade, with 51.2 million tons and growth of 4.6%, once again boasted very good results. Both with regards to container handling which attained 49.7 million tons and thus an increase of 4.6% as well as also in the conventional general cargo division which, with 1.5 million tons, attained an increase of 4.1%. The positive development from past years also continued in the first half of 2008.

Hamburg’s port handling is characterized by general cargo handling ’ and is absolutely dominated by container handling in this case. Even if the first half of 2008 showed no double-digit growth, it must nonetheless be stated that 182,000 teu more were handled in the Hamburg container terminals compared with the first half of 2007. The handling of loaded containers even increased by 5.3% in 2007. The number of empty containers being handled decreased during the same timeframe by 2.7%. The evenness of imports and exports has also been shown during the first six months of this year. Thus, upon the import side, a total of 2.6 million teu (+3.4%) were handled.

Upon the export side, the handling of containers amounted to 2.4 million teu (+4.2%).

‘Before the backdrop of the weakening of growth in container traffic with China, Hamburg’s main trading partner, growth of 3.8% in container handling represents very good results for the half-year. We are particularly happy that the Port of Hamburg, which can look back this year upon 40 years of container traffic, will reach the 10-million teu mark for the first time’, expl