Hamburg the largest Port in Germany and an important hub for the “Belt & Road Initiative” in Europe is well? How will its business get out of the haze of the pandemic?

Hamburg, located in Northwestern Germany close to the mouth of the Elbe River, has the largest Port – Hamburg Port. In recent years, Hamburg has actively responded to the “One Belt One Road” Initiative and has become an important bridgehead linking China-Germany and China-Europe Cooperation.

According to Official Data of the Hamburg Port Marketing Association, as of 2019, there are 204 transportation routes regularly departing from Hamburg to 20 destinations in China every week, including Beijing, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Ganzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Cities such as Qingdao, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Shilong, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Yiwu and Zhengzhou. Every year, about 2.6 million TEUs of Chinese Ocean Freight are transshipped and processed in the Port of Hamburg.

“The Port of Hamburg has maintained trade with China for a long time. The Port and Sea trade realised through the Maritime Silk Road is very important to us. One-third of the containers loaded and unloaded in the Port of Hamburg are from China or will be shipped to China.

“Axel Mattern, CEO & Director of the Port of Hamburg Marketing Association, said that Hamburg also has direct trade with more than 20 Chinese cities through the China-Europe Express. “These trains that connect the Port of Hamburg with Chinese cities provide customers with more than 200 scheduled trains, which is a leader in Europe.”

“The global economy has been affected by the new crown epidemic, and the Port of Hamburg is no exception.” Mattern said frankly that from January to March this year, the port of Hamburg’s container throughput fell by 6.6% year-on-year, while the volume of trade with China fell during the same period. 14.6%. He explained that this was mainly due to the outbreak of the epidemic in China earlier than in other countries.

“Since China is the most important trading partner of the Port of Hamburg, the double-digit decline in trade volume is a heavy blow to us. But these days, we have seen signs of recovery in trade with China.”

Mattern pointed out The Port of Hamburg’s trade volume with China in May has rebounded from the previous month, and it is expected that there will be better performance after the release of statistical data in June.

“This development is in line with the current situation in which China’s domestic cargo throughput has recovered-taking Guangzhou Port as an example. For example, the port has recently set a record high in a single month’s container throughput.”

The Port of Hamburg also witnessed the anti-epidemic cooperation between China and Germany. During the worst period of the epidemic in Germany, the first China-Europe train running between Jinan, China and Hamburg, Germany, loaded with medical and anti-epidemic materials produced in China, successfully arrived at the Port of Hamburg freight station on April 30.

When attending the pick-up ceremony, Hamburg’s Minister of Economy West Hagmann expressed his gratitude to the China-Europe Railway Express for delivering the supplies urgently needed for Germany’s fight against the epidemic. China’s friendly cooperation. He emphasised that 12% of Germany’s railway freight is completed through the Port of Hamburg, which highlights Hamburg’s location advantage in strengthening the “Belt & Road” Cooperation with China.

After undergoing strong anti-epidemic measures such as border closures and “cities closure”, Germany has basically contained the epidemic, but major cities such as Hamburg are still under great pressure to prevent a rebound of the epidemic.

Matten said that according to his understanding, since the outbreak of the epidemic, the scheduled volume of China-Europe Express freight business has increased, which has played a substitute role for the shipping affected by the epidemic. In his view, although it is difficult to predict the specific development in the future, it can be seen that railway transportation can benefit from this crisis, and the Port of Hamburg and the entire local logistics industry are ready to provide services.

Lars Anke, Head of International Cooperation Projects at Hamburg Ports and Logistics AG (HHLA), said that the global port and logistics industry has been the most severely affected by the epidemic in recent decades, but the Port of Hamburg is in the worst case of the epidemic The normal operation of the group has been maintained.

“From the perspective of the entire global logistics market, we are still facing very severe challenges this year. We hope to see a rebound in the entire market in the second half of the year, which will rely heavily on China’s development-so far, the situation is good.”

Said that the epidemic has made people understand the importance of strengthening international cooperation. “Faced with global challenges, only countries can work together to deal with it. We especially hope that in the future we can have more and closer cooperation with China and other countries in the world.”

“We are very convinced that the globalisation process will continue, especially the trade exchanges between Hamburg and China will be successful.” Mattern said.

Author: Peng Dawei