HHLA, Hamburg’s biggest stevedore, boosted container traffic 21.3 percent in 2011 from a year ago, significantly outpacing growth in Antwerp and Rotterdam to boost its market share in the fiercely competitive northwest European port range.
The increase, to 7.1 million 20-foot equivalent units, drove revenue up 14 percent year-over-year to $1.6 billion. Operating profit was $15.7 million higher at $268.6 million.
HHLA attributed the surge to double-digit growth in the Asia-Europe and East European markets, a strong German economy and increased productivity in handling the largest container ships. HHLA’s growth compares with increases of 6 percent and 2.3 percent at Rotterdam and Antwerp respectively.
Intermodal traffic to the German and central and east European hinterland grew 11.3 percent to 1.9 million TEUs, driven largely by increased hub and shuttle services to Poland and the Czech Republic.
“Our company utilized the strong growth in Asia and Eastern Europe as well as the good economic development in Germany to improve its market position once again,” said Klaus –Dieter Peters, HHLA executive board chairman. “Our new megaship berths and the expansion of our hinterland network contributed significantly towards this success.”
HHLA handles around two-thirds of container traffic in Hamburg, Europe’s second largest box hub after Rotterdam.
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