2017 May 05

Hamburg Port: hinterland key for mega alliances

Hamburg Port Authority chief executive Axel Mattern has singled out how hinterland connections are a “key factor” when it came to dealing with the new alliances, with the port focusing on this area.

He said: “We are more focused on the rail side and are completely convinced that the success of the port is on hinterland activity ꟷ no other factor is involved anymore.”

Hamburg Port Authority boosted its container intermodal terminal from seven tracks to nine in the second half of last year and can now handle one million teu by train, versus the 700,000 teu volume that it carried previously.

Mr Mattern also singled out how IT and intelligent systems were pivotal when it came to handling the larger ships provided by the new alliances. The port has installed appointment systems for trucks to avoid too much traffic in port. Four parking lots have been opened by the port around the motorways leading to Hamburg. These are connected by IT to the container terminals so the truck driver can see when they need to be at port and are given times to receive and deliver the container.

Hamburg port has had long-running issues with its river navigation. It needs to dredge the River Elbe by one further metre to boost the movement of ULCVs through the port. It has made progress with this as the Federal Administrative Court of Germany has decided the dredging is possible, but that Hamburg Port Authority and the Federal Government need to answer three questions about it. Mr Mattern said the answers should be ready by the end of the year, and then it would go to European Law to make a final decision on whether the dredging can go ahead. It is expected to be approved, with dredging starting in April 2018, allowing more ships to enter and exit port at the same time.

But Mr Mattern still believes that when it comes to serving the alliances, hinterland connections are more important.

He said: “The draft is a technical challenge but it is not impossible. It is workable; alliances are calling so it can’t be that bad.”

Source:; Rebecca Moore

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