The Port of Hamburg is lowering its fees in an effort to secure future growth.
The Port of Hamburg is lowering its fees in an effort to secure future growth. In intensive talks with the port and shipping industry and upon the initiative of Senator Axel Gedaschko at the State Ministry of Economic and Labour Affairs, incentives have been developed to route additional shipping traffic through the Port.
The Port of Hamburg is lowering its fees and expanding its infrastructure. At the same time, the public port infrastructure will be further expanded and improved to cater for future trade needs and growth. In the coming four to five years, some ? 1bn, proceeds that the city state generated from the sale of HHLA shares in 2007, are planned to be invested in public port infrastructure measures.
As in all ports around the world, the global economic crisis has caused a sharp drop in handling rates. However, current signs are that the bottom has been reached and the port is back on the path to growth. In terms of quality and prices, the port of Hamburg is competitive, innovative and climate-friendly, and it is building on these strengths to stabilise and enhance the signs of recovery.
One of the core elements of the initiative is the adjustment of port fees. "The more traffic you route through Hamburg, the more you"ll benefit", said Jens Meier, managing director of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA). In addition to the volume rebate of up to 50% for additional traffic, which is already in place, a time limited transhipment incentive system is planned to be introduced in a first step. In reference to the transhipment containers handled, that may save up to 50% of the costs per box.
"That way we are strengthening our position as a feeder traffic hub in the North Sea and Baltic Sea area", Meier emphasised. The port fee package provides that tariffs will not be increased in 2010 and ship owners may benefit from extended terms of payment. These measures will be limited to one year first. In a second step, it is planned to incorporate a volume and climate component in the port fee tariff.
Senator Gedaschko added, "With these measures, Hamburg is expanding its leading role among the North Range ports with regard to port fees. Contrary to our competitors, we do not respond to the tight economic situation by introducing a short sighted crisis tariff. Instead, we have developed a joint strategy that puts long term growth first and offers the customers of the port of Hamburg planning security. However, it is not only the public sector that is moving. In numerous discussions with business representatives, I"ve been given signals that the port operating businesses are responding proactively, too, to gain market share."
The German federal railway, Deutsche Bahn AG, also backs Hamburg as a logistics hub and confirms its decision to expand its market share in the Port of Hamburg"s hinterland by implementing targeted investment projects. Not only does it invest extensively in pivotal infrastructure projects, such as the modernisation of the Maschen marshalling yard. The refurbishment of the existing infrastructure at a total cost of some ? 230m is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Over the years to 2014, a third railway track will be built in the approximately 27km long Stelle-Lüneburg section and a fourth track will be laid between Stelle and Ashausen. The federal government and the German railway will invest ? 280m in this project. In Hausbruch, a two track expansion project is to improve the port railway"s rail links. The facilities at the Billwerder rail freight station will be expanded at a cost of about ? 17m. The funding will come from the economic recovery programme launched by the federal government.
Hamburg"s pilots and the Elbe River pilots are facing up to their responsibility also. They will forego the increase in pilotage charges already fixed for 2010.