Chinese Container Traffic Boosts Hamburg Port Growth

Chinese Container Traffic Boosts Hamburg Port Growth

Shan Wei Ling
3 min read

Chinese Cargo Contributes Significantly to Hamburg Port's Growth

Recent data from the Port of Hamburg indicates that China remains its largest source of cargo. In the first quarter of this year, the volume of container traffic with China increased by 2.9% year-on-year, reaching 536,000 TEUs, accounting for nearly 30% of the port's total throughput. This growth is primarily attributed to new routes established by COSCO Shipping Group. Additionally, in June 2023, COSCO Shipping Group completed the acquisition of a 24.99% stake in the Tollerort "Fortune" Container Terminal at the Port of Hamburg. This collaboration is expected to further enhance the logistical connectivity between China and Hamburg. Ying Ge, Head of the Asian Market Development at the Port of Hamburg Marketing Association, highlighted that the new routes by COSCO Shipping are the key drivers of this growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Container traffic between the Port of Hamburg and China increased by 2.9% in the first quarter, reaching 536,000 TEUs.
  • New routes by COSCO Shipping Group have significantly increased cargo volume at the Port of Hamburg.
  • Nearly 30% of the Port of Hamburg's total throughput comes from China, surpassing other countries.
  • COSCO Shipping completed the acquisition of a 24.99% stake in a terminal at the Port of Hamburg, strengthening logistics cooperation.
  • China has become the largest source of cargo for the Port of Hamburg, with significant growth in cargo volumes from North America and North Africa as well.


The introduction of new routes and the acquisition of shares in the Tollerort "福地" container terminal in Hamburg by the COSCO Shipping Group have significantly enhanced the port's logistics capability, particularly in strengthening its connections with the Chinese market. This strategy has not only raised the port's throughputs but also solidified China's position as its leading source of goods. In the short term, Hamburg’s logistics efficiency and market share are set to increase as a result. In the long term, this deep collaboration might attract more investment from the Asian markets, further expanding its influence in international logistics. Additionally, this move may prompt other ports and shipping companies to adjust their strategies in response to heightened competition.

Did You Know?

  • COSCO Shipping Group:
    • Explanation: The COSCO Shipping Group is China's largest shipping enterprise and one of the world's leading providers of shipping and logistics services. It offers comprehensive shipping solutions including container transportation, bulk cargo transportation, terminal operations, and logistics services. Through the opening of new routes and the acquisition of shares in the Hamburg container terminal, the COSCO Shipping Group has not only strengthened its competitiveness in the global shipping market but also deepened its cooperative relationships with major European ports.
  • Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU):
    • Explanation: TEU is a standard unit of measurement for the capacity and throughput of container ships and container terminals. One TEU represents a 20-foot-long container, while a 40-foot-long container is equivalent to two TEUs. This measurement method enables the comparison of cargo handling capabilities between different ports and vessels and is a universally accepted standard in the international shipping industry.
  • Hamburg Port Marketing e.V.:
    • Explanation: Hamburg Port Marketing e.V. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Hamburg Port as an international hub for logistics and shipping. Through various marketing activities and collaborative projects, it attracts global shipping companies, logistics enterprises, and traders to utilize Hamburg Port. The focus of Gu Yingge, director of Asian market development at the association, is to enhance the visibility and attractiveness of Hamburg Port in Asian markets, particularly in trade and logistics cooperation with countries like China.

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