The German twin ports of Bremen-Bremerhaven boosted container traffic 13.6 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, closing the gap with slower-growing rivals in the Le Havre-Hamburg range.
Bremen-Bremerhaven handled 1.6 million 20-foot equivalent container units in the three months to March 31, up from 1.4 million in the same period in 2011.
Container volume at neighboring Hamburg grew 5.2 percent in the quarter to 2.2 million TEUs, Antwerp was up just 0.7 percent at 2.17 million TEUs and Rotterdam, Europe’s top container hub, was down 3.9 percent at 2.8 million TEUs.
Total traffic at Bremen-Bremerhaven surged 15.2 percent to 21.7 million metric tons, the best quarter in the ports’ history, driven by a strong German economy. Outbound traffic jumped 18.3 percent to 10.8 million metric tons, reflecting booming exports, while inbound shipments grew 12.2 percent to 10.9 million tons.
Bremerhaven consolidated its position as Europe’s top auto port, with traffic rising 8.8 percent to 528,883 units.
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