Port of Hamburg to Begin Elbe Deepening


August 24, 2018

The Port of Hamburg will soon be able to welcome 20,000+ TEU containerships as the plan to dredge the river Elbe has finally received the approval from German authorities.

A third supplementary planning procedure requested by the Federal Administrative Court has been conducted by the planning agencies responsible for the major project. The legal preliminaries are therefore in place that will enable construction to start.

“This is very good news for our trading and shipping customers worldwide and for the whole Hamburg Metropolitan Region,” said Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

“We have waited a long time for today and are now hoping for rapid implementation,” added Ingo Egloff, his Executive Board colleague. The port is already megaship-ready and can handle the largest containerships with a slot capacity of over 20,000 TEU, as well as other mega-vessels. Suitable berths and terminal equipment make that right possible now.

Irrespective of the tide, after the fairway adjustment, ocean-going ships will be able to leave Hamburg with a draft of 13.50 metres; and using flood tide, with one of 14.50 metres. For shipping, the fairway adjustment will provide one extra metre of draft and the related decisive advantages.

Containerships will be able to transport around 1800 more containers (TEU) per call. The ‘passing box’ downstream from Hamburg will make the Elbe navigable for mega-ships in both directions without the existing restrictions.

Hamburg is Germany’s largest universal port and the third biggest container port in Europe. Technical innovations and high productivity, along with short lay times at its terminals and an inland rail network matched nowhere else in Europe, underline Hamburg’s importance for worldwide transport chains.