More than 48% of freight traveling to or from the German port is carried by railcar.
The Port of Hamburg says a major share of the more than 135 million tons of seaborne cargo traffic it clears annually reaches or leaves the port by rail.
The port said rail is the mode of transport for 48.2% of the cargo, followed by truck at 41.4% and inland waterway at 10.2%.
In the first quarter of 2019, a total of 12.5 million tons of freight were transported by rail between the Port of Hamburg and destinations within Germany and Europe. The port said that’s an increase of 7.7%.
“The growth in container traffic was markedly higher,” the port said, reporting that 690,000 TEUs were transported by rail during the first quarter, a year-over-year increase of 13.6%. The port attributed the growth in transport by rail primarily to four new transatlantic liner services connecting Hamburg with the U.S., Canada and Mexico and new container block-train services.
“The Port of Hamburg is Europe’s leading rail port. Against the backdrop of overloaded roads and the desire for the most environment-friendly freight transport possible, in the coming years, rail will gain in importance in seaport-hinterland transport,” said Axel Mattern, joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing – HHM. “To be well prepared for growth in freight quantities, it is not enough for the ports alone to invest in developing and modernizing, as well as in digitalizing its infrastructure. Both the rail network and the inland handling terminals have to have both their performance and capacity upgraded for the additional freight volumes.”
Some 12% of all rail freight services in Germany have their origin or destination in the Port of Hamburg, it said, adding that more 200 freight trains daily utilize the approximately 300 kilometers of rail network of Hamburg Port Railway and the large number of industrial sidings in the port.
More than 5,000 freight railcars have to be positioned every day either in blocks or individually in the handling terminals and industrial premises, the port said, adding that the number of rail transport operators utilizing the rail network has risen in recent years to more than 150 companies.
“They, with their marketing organizations, provide a dense network of single railcar, shuttle and block train services throughout Germany and Europe,” the port said. “In all, some 2,100 marketed container-train services to and from Hamburg are on offer to the commercial shippers. This includes more than 200 container train services to destinations in China.”