The first containers to be delivered from Berlin to the Port of Hamburg via the new Elbe-Spree inland waterway were unloaded last month.
The first containers to be delivered from Berlin to the Port of Hamburg via the new Elbe-Spree inland waterway were unloaded last month. The line operated by the Berlin Hafen- und Lagerhaus AG in cooperation with Konrad Zippel Spediteur GmbH from Hamburg will now be used for transportation from City-GVZ Berlin Westhafen to the Hamburg container terminals and vice versa every week.
The inland waterway vessel "MS Shir Khan", which has a transport capacity of 54 TEUs will replace some 50 truck runs per week. The Berlin waterway connection was developed within the scope of the Deutsche Einheit No. 17 traffic project.
It is now able to handle economically viable transport from Berlin to Hamburg by ship through the Spree river, the Havelkanal, the Elbe-Havel-Kanal, the Mittellandkanal and the Elbe-Seitenkanal. The Middle-Elbe is navigable when the water level permits,but there are still some navigation restrictions due to discontinued maintenance measures. At Dömitz, the water level fell below 80 cm in the summer of 2008.
Container traffic, which is especially important for the Port of Hamburg, is increasingly being carried by more environmentally sustainable ships in both directions. As a Planco 2007 study showed, ships have much better results in terms of energy consumption, pollution, traffic safety and noise than rail freight or trucks. The number of containers moved in Hamburg"s port hinterland traffic rose by 29 % in 2008 and has now reached 119,000 TEUs. Container shipping lines operating between Hamburg and inland ports in Northern and Eastern Germany are now sending 16 container transports per week. Containers are increasingly being transported by inland shipping even between the different terminals of a single port.
The largest German port is now also the third largest German inland port.
In spite of a difficult macroeconomic environment, environmentally sustainable transport by inland water vessel will be further developed.