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HAMBURG: August 02, 2019. The Port of Hamburg reports a 20 percent increase in inland waterway volume of 34,640 TEU compared to the same period in 2018. Total tonnage rose 12.1 percent year-on-year to 2.57 million tons.

On a less-positive note, the port says inland barge growth has been constrained by “the barely navigable River Elbe caused by low water since May”.

River Elbe Hamburg According to Stefan Kunze, head of the Port of Hamburg’s office in Dresden, this means forecasting what happens for the remainder of the year will be difficult.

While TEU transshipments from and to inland waterway vessels is expected to produce more inland traffic for Hamburg in the future, Kunze said it will depend on the better alignment of infrastructure to the operating requirements of inland shipping.

“Digitalization and intermeshing the various carriers, construction work on the waterways and optimized coordination of inland vessel calls in the Port of Hamburg, will in future lead to more cargo and simplified handling of transport chains along the Elbe and Elbe Lateral Canal,” he explained.

However with forecasts of above average growth for German seaport-to-hinterland transport, Kunze said the only way to cope with it, given that road and rail networks are already operating at “almost full capacity”, is to make a better job of incorporating inland shipping into transport chain planning.

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