In recent years, the global shipping industry has been under tremendous pressure under the continued impact of the economic crisis. Hamburg, the second largest port in Europe and the largest port in Germany, has not recovered to its former prosperity, but at least in the competition with the major ports in northern Europe, it has achieved obvious growth, even last year.
In 2016, the cargo throughput of the Port of Hamburg was 138.2 million tons, a slight increase of 0.3% year-on-year. Among them, the business volume of the Port of Hamburg increased by 1.6%. Inge Eglov, co-CEO of the Hamburg Port Marketing Association, believes that the growth of trade with China's goods is the main reason for the gradual recovery of the Hamburg port business.
Ingo said: "Although the throughput of Container Port in Hamburg last year only showed a small increase, compared with the recession in 2015, we think this is a very good situation. We also hope to continue this kind of situation. Although it is not obvious, it is still a growth trend. This is related to the trading countries of the Port of Hamburg, such as our most important trading partner, China. China's economic growth can be said to directly affect the freight situation of the Port of Hamburg."
He said that due to the new normal of China's economy, the shipping volume of the Port of Hamburg had once fallen into a trough. However, under the framework of the Chinese government's “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Hamburg's seaport hinterland has a particularly advantageous transportation advantage and has great potential for cooperation with China. Ingo said that the Port of Hamburg has offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and attaches great importance to maintaining close contact with employees in these offices.
Ingo said: "We are very concerned about China's dynamics. For example, the Chinese government has vigorously promoted the construction of the Hungarian International Railway Line connecting Budapest and Belgrade, and Hamburg is also building a container hub in Budapest. There is a lot of room for cooperation between the two sides. At the same time, Hamburg has 12 trains a week to China, the so-called onshore Silk Road, and we look forward to further cooperation with China in this regard."
In order to optimize services for Chinese customers, Hamburg Port has launched a Chinese webpage on its official website since the end of last year. Matthias Schultz, head of Port Asia and Overseas Market Development, said: "We have translated the webpage into Chinese on the one hand, and adjusted the content settings on the other hand, putting the database query in a prominent position. For example, Chinese companies can narrow down the search by selecting qualifiers. All the information in this process is presented in Chinese. The advantage is that customers from China can more easily find the services they need and the corresponding local businesses. Then cooperate."
Liu Guosheng, chairman of the German-Chinese Exchange Association, told reporters that in 2016, China continued to maintain its position as the largest trading partner of Hamburg Port. The business volume of Hamburg's ports in China reached nearly 2.6 million TEUs. At the same time, Hamburg also has the largest port freight railway station in Europe, and nearly half of the traffic in the hinterland of the port is realized by rail transport. He said: "The Hamburg City Government has paid close attention to the development of China's 'One Belt, One Road' project and feels that it is a meeting point for the 'One Belt, One Road' marine silk road and the land silk road."
According to the German "Times Weekly" publisher and international relations expert Theo Sommer, the double-digit growth rate of China's economic development slowed to 6.7%, making the growth of container traffic in Hamburg Port almost stagnant enough to prove that with China's Trade is vital to Hamburg, so Hamburg will make every effort to strengthen cooperation with China: “I firmly believe that the 'Belt and Road' initiative will help further promote bilateral cooperation. But at the same time, I don’t think that in this framework The rise of the rail transport will slowly replace the position of the sea. After all, the sea has the advantage of low price and large traffic volume, so the two will prosper together. I hope that the Port of Hamburg will once again welcome a large number of containers from China."