Port of Hamburg to Profit from CETA Free Trade Agreement

  • Business & Finance

Germany’s Port of Hamburg is set to profit from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada as the deal will simplify foreign trade.

Once ratified by the parliaments of EU countries, the agreement, which provisionally came into force on September 21, would see customs dues scrapped on 98 percent of goods traded, and import and export restrictions very largely discarded.

“Alignment of industry standards through standard regulations for many goods will also make trading simpler,” the port said, adding with trade volume put at around EUR 64 billion, Canada is among the EU’s Top Ten trading partners.

Germany’s trade with Canada totals about EUR 14 billion, as the country takes the 13th place among the Port of Hamburg’s trading partners for container transport. Three liner services and one multi-purpose service offer regular sailings between the port and Canada. In the first nine months, the port witnessed a rise of 20.5 percent in container traffic with Canada, reaching 144,000 TEU.

The trend in throughput in the Baltic trade for the Port of Hamburg increased by 2.8 percent to total 1.4 million TEU. Seaborne container traffic with Sweden was 20.9 percent up at 220.000 TEU and with Poland it grew by 7.7 percent to 172,000 TEU. With growth at between 5.8 percent and 18.8 percent, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also contributed to growth on the Baltic services.

The trend was positive for the Port of Hamburg’s container services with Europe generally, the total being 1.6 percent higher at 2 million TEU. Other countries with distinct growth in container traffic were Vietnam, 62.6 percent up at 52,000 TEU, Chile, 43.4 percent up at 57,500 TEU, Mexico 22.7 percent ahead at 68,000 TEU, and Israel, up 25.5 percent at 57,000 TEU.

Comprising the general and bulk cargo segments, seaborne cargo handling in Hamburg during the first nine months at 104.3 million tons was at a stable level. At 6.8 million TEU, throughput of containerized general cargoes continued to grow, while at 34.1 million tons, bulk cargo throughput remained just below the previous year’s figure.

By contrast, handling of empty containers at 924,000 TEU was 4.3 percent lower than in the previous third quarter, in part due to the not yet implemented dredging of the Elbe fairway.

Market research by Port of Hamburg Marketing indicates that restrictions on the Elbe applying to Hamburg plus limited tidal ‘windows’ are causing shipping companies to use available slot space on their mega-containerships for loaded boxes as a matter of priority, while empty containers are increasingly being routed via other ports in Northern Europe.

“With the navigation channel adjusted, we could increase both container and bulk cargo throughput in Hamburg. We therefore continue to closely monitor the downturn in empty box handling. From the angle of value added, which on handling loaded boxes can be seen as higher for the port, our throughput of loaded boxes underlines Hamburg’s attractiveness as a Northern European hub port,” Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, said.

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