MSC unveils further commitments to Port of Hamburg

Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s largest container shipping company, is continuing investments in the Port of Hamburg — one of the home ports for the company.

Courtesy of the Port of Hamburg

As informed, MSC has added Hamburg as a hub in two of its strategically important services, the Swan and the new Britannia service. This is said to underline the strategic importance that the Port of Hamburg has for the shipping company.

The decision was also made against the backdrop of solid double-digit growth in MSC’s German container business in the first half of 2024.

“Hamburg is one of our home ports and has always been of great importance to MSC. We are delighted that with the start of the Swan and Britannia services we can significantly expand our business in Hamburg and increase cargo handling in the port. This is just one step in the long-term growth and investment story that we want to write in Hamburg,” Nils Kahn, Managing Director of MSC Germany, commented.

MSC’s Swan service connects Asia with Northern Europe and the Baltics. The route includes Ningbo, Shanghai and Yantian in China and Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia before the ships call at Felixstowe and Antwerp in Europe. The extension to the Baltic Sea takes the ships via Gdansk, Gdynia and Klaipeda to Bremerhaven and then back to Asia. In May 2024, MSC decided to include the port of Hamburg in the rotation.

MSC currently operates thirteen ships with capacities between 13,800 TEU and 16,650 TEU on the Swan service. The first ship on the new rotation via Hamburg started on June 3, 2024.

The new Britannia service will offer better port connections from China and Vietnam to Liverpool via a unique corridor. The hubs of Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp will also be called. The first ship of this new service left Shanghai on July 1, 2024.

As a further step to expand its commitment in Hamburg, MSC signed an agreement with the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) in June 2024 to supply its ships with shore power in Hamburg. MSC is the first shipping company to use shore power for its cruise and container ships while they are in port. In doing so, MSC is also contributing to its goal of reducing CO2 emissions and contributing to a more sustainable future.

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The company has over 100 dual-fuel ships on order, of which over 20 LNG dual-fuel ships are already in operation. Half of these ships are already used in EU trade. From July 31, 2024, Hamburg will also be included via the Swan service with the MSC Aaya.

In January 2024, MSC announced its intention to build its new German headquarters in Hamburg’s HafenCity. The shipping company plans to employ between 500 and 700 people at the location in the long term. With at least 800 square meters of publicly accessible space, the new headquarters will be open to the Hamburg public and offer space for exchange. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2026.

In December 2023, MSC, together with the City of Hamburg, secured over 92 percent of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG. Together, the City of Hamburg and MSC want to drive forward the strategic development of HHLA and the entire Port of Hamburg.

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The completion of the transaction, which is still subject to the approval of the Hamburg Parliament and the supervisory authorities, is expected in 2024.