Port numbers growing despite Russia sanctions

The Local Germany
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Port numbers growing despite Russia sanctions
Photo: DPA

The port of Hamburg is set for a record year, quelling fears that sanctions placed on Russian trade would affect its 2014 business, it said on Monday.


In the first nine months of the year, Germany's largest port saw a turnover of 7.4 million standard containers (TEU), an increase of 6.4 percent over last year, port authority records show.

The port is also on its way to a record year. In 2008, 140 million tonnes of cargo was handled. Projections for 2014 show the port handling 144 million tonnes of cargo.

The numbers belie fears that Russian sanctions would hit trade through the port, though container traffic between Russia and the Port of Hamburg dropped by 5.7 percent compared to last year.

"After China, Russia still occupies second place among the Port of Hamburg's container partners," chief of marketing for the Port Ingo Egloff said.

Egloff said the weakening Russian rouble was more likely to be the cause of the drop in Russian traffic instead of the politically-motivated sanctions in response to the Ukraine conflict.

Trade with China accounted for 2.3 million containers and has seen an increase of 12.8 percent over the previous year.

"Hamburg is profiting from the double-digit growth in the contrainer trade with Asia," co-CEO of Hamburg Marketing Axel Mattern said. He added that trade with Africa also increased by 28.2 percent over the last year.

At the press conference presenting the figures, economics senator Frank Horch said that in order for the Port of Hamburg to stay competitive, the Elbe river needs to be deepened to handle increasingly larger container ships. 


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