Like most ports around the world, the Port of Hamburg has been affected by the coronavirus downturn. In the first half of 2020, its total seaborne cargo tonnage declined by 12 percent, and it lost the same amount of business in each category – 12 percent down for breakbulk, 12 percent down for bulk cargoes and 12 percent down for container volume.
“We are naturally not pleased about this trend, but the drop in first-half throughput caused by the pandemic seriously affected all ports in Northern Europe. Owing to the weakness of the world economy and some withdrawals or considerable delays of global supply chains, as expected the effect turned out to be more severe in the second quarter than in the first three months,” said Axel Mattern, the joint CEO for Port of Hamburg Marketing. “[However,] the port remains fully operational. That is truly appreciated by our customers and also gives our workers security.”
Import volumes felt the impact the most. Imports were down 16 percent in the first half of the year, compared with a far smaller six percent decline in exports. On the import side, reduced steel production led to lower throughput of ore and coal. Liquid bulk cargoes fell by about 10 percent, but first-half agribulk throughput soared by 31 percent to 4.1 million tons, driven by high levels of grain and fertilizer exports.
At the container terminals, the trend for the first six months varied markedly. A 16 percent collapse in seaborne container throughput with China, Hamburg’s top trading partner, proved impossible to offset. Besides China, downturns in seaborne container throughput were also reported with Russia (15 percent), Sweden (13 percent), South Korea (14 percent), Denmark (3 percent), and Poland (11 percent).
“The slowing down of the Chinese economy and the resultant [blanked sailings] on liner services . . . led to lower throughput totals. With some delay, these repercussions were reflected in the first-half figures,” said Mattern. However, he added that the port is seeing signs of an initial recovery on both the import and export sides of the China trade.
“In the past two months a stabilization of vessel sailings has been achieved. With the economy in China and Europe gradually picking up, I am confident that we have meanwhile reached the lowest point of the fall in seaborne cargo throughput caused by the pandemic, and will see a first noticeable recovery and improvement in the situation by the end of the year,” said Port of Hamburg co-CEO Ingo Egloff.
Some trading partners saw volumes rise. Container trade with U.S. ports was up by two percent, Singapore by six percent, the UK by 39 percent, and Malaysia by two percent. The improvement in trade with the United States is a noteworthy development, according to the port’s managers. “This strikingly good trend is attributable to the four Transatlantic services that started operating from Hamburg at the beginning of 2019. These have developed extremely well and ensured higher throughput volumes with the USA, especially on container services,” said Mattern.
The positive change in volume with Singapore likely derived from shifting transshipment patterns in the Far East. As for the sharp rise seen in trade with the UK, the main shipments consisted of empty containers for use by German industry.
The outlook for the remainder of the year is mixed, and Port of Hamburg does not expect the numbers for 2020 to look as good as those for 2019. “Even if the export side is reporting some growth, it will be some time before we are again at pre-crisis level. And here we have entirely ignored trade wars, sanctions, and corona outbreaks in other parts of the world. On top of that comes German reluctance to consume . . . That naturally depresses imports of consumer goods such as textiles,” said Egloff.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]