Trains dominate in moving containers to and from Port of Hamburg

2022/05/09 at 11:52 AM

Port of Hamburg, the third-largest container harbour in Europe, is continuing to enhance its rail connectivity with the hinterland. To this end, almost 2,000 weekly freight trains depart from the port towards numerous intermodal terminals. This makes Hamburg the largest rail port in Europe, where more than half of containers from the hinterland are delivered to the harbour or vice versa by rail.

Container train in the Port of Hamburg, source: Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA)

The Port of Hamburg Marketing has unveiled some data regarding the modes of transport used in Europe’s third-largest port for moving containers. Almost 65 per cent of container traffic is generated by hinterland terminals and the remaining 35 per cent is transhipped directly from ultra-large to smaller feeder vessels. Most of the boxes, 51.5 per cent are moved to and from the hinterland terminals by rail. Road transport and inland shipping comprise the lesser part of the mentioned traffic: 46.1 and 2.4 per cent correspondingly. The calculation is based on the 2020 data when the Port of Hamburg handles 8.5 million TEU. In 2021, the German harbour had almost the same container traffic: 8.7 million TEU.

Around 2,000 trains per week

Since the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) manages the well-developed rail infrastructure with a total length of around 300 kilometres, over 160 rail operators move freight within the port area. This results in handling more than 5,500 wagons daily.

As for rail connections, there are 1,958 weekly trains that depart from the Port of Hamburg towards hinterland terminals. Germany plays a key role in generating and handling this traffic as 1,095 weekly trains run to the intermodal terminals across the country. The list of other leading markets for Hamburg’s hinterland container traffic are China (232 weekly trains), Czechia (164 weekly trains), Austria (132 weekly trains) and Poland (84 weekly trains).

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