The federal German minister for transport has presented the first national port ?concept? to the German states for approval.
The 4-year (2009-2012) infrastructure budget is part of Berlin"s freight transport and logistics masterplan The federal German minister for transport Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD) has presented the first national port ?concept? to the German states for approval. The port concept serves as Berlin"s strategic guide for port policy for the coming next 10 years and is part of the ?goods transport and logistics masterplan.?
Tiefensee acknowledged that the weak world economy and financial crisis has led to enormous decline in freight rates for shipping lines and logistic service providers alike.
?But I am certain that the situation will improve again with growing globalisation and international cooperation,? he said. ?Exports will continue to remain the driving force of the German economy and they depend on modern and functional seaports and hinterland connections.
?The various measures covered by the national port strategy will improve the competitiveness of our sea ports and inland ports. Our goal is to expand existing relevant transport infrastructure in the ports and remove bottlenecks.
?We will also invest in training and provision of new qualified jobs for unemployed people, as well as pay full attention to environmental issues, noise abatement, climate protection and safety of the transport chain.?
The new economic programme covers 44 road projects carried forward from the first economic programme that ended last December and additional 20 new road bypasses, highway sections and federal roads. All of these projects will be finalised shortly, which will help construction companies and also the environment.
The budget includes:
? E850M for roads
? E700M for rail projects (more than 1500 railway station improvements)
? E350M for waterways
? E100M for integrated transport
Between 2009 and 2020 a total of E24B will be spent on various expansion programmes. For the federal fairways - the rivers Elbe, Weser, Ems and the larger canals - some E780M will be made available. Procedures to improve the Elbe and Weser navigation will, after all commence in 2009. The Ems will be deepened by 2012 and the Kiel Canal will be able to cater for larger vessels by 2014.
Around E258M are reserved for dredging the Elbe ? so Berlin is assuming the lion"s share of the total cost of E380M - while E568M have been set aside for widening the Kiel Canal.
The rail connection between Hanover, Bremerhaven and Hamburg (Y-axis) and the Hafenquerspange (connection) between the A1 and A7 autobahns will be improved, greatly improving hinterland access for the seaports.