HamburgÆs 1Q box volume drop in line with global fall
Container volume at the Port of Hamburg was down 24.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009, yet another symbol of how far demand for containerized goods fell earlier in the year.
The port, one of Europe's biggest, handled 1.86 million TEUs during the first three months. Overall tonnage at the port fell 21.7 percent during the same period.
Admitting it was 'spoiled by success in past years,' the port blamed the poor numbers on the global financial crisis. Hamburg's dependence on containerized goods from China was a large factor in the volume decline.
'One in three of the containers handled in Hamburg comes from China or is going to China,' the port said. 'In comparison with the first quarter of 2008, Chinese foreign trade with Europe declined in the months of January and February by 20.2 percent and in the month of March by 19.3 percent. This has particularly serious implications for Hamburg, as the biggest European port for trade with China. Hamburg functions as a hub for Chinese trade, as a large proportion of goods from China is transshipped here and carried on by feeder services to neighboring European countries.'