Germany’s newest container terminal is involved in legal action over ship dues less than four months after it began operations in the port of Wilhelmshaven amid a downturn in traffic across the Northwest European waterfront.
Eurogate, the operator of the JadeWeser terminal, is suing the port authority over the level of dues based on vessel capacity, which are said to put Germany’s first deep-water container facility at a disadvantage with respect to rivals in the neighboring ports of Bremerhaven and Hamburg.
JadeWeser, a 70:30 joint venture between Bremen-based Eurogate and APM Terminals, the port arm of A.P. Moller-Maersk, is the only terminal in Germany able to handle ships with capacities of more than 18,000 20-foot-equivalent units regardless of tidal conditions.
It offered container ships an introductory discount of 70 percent on tariffs, reduced to 50 percent in the New Year, in a bid to take business from Hamburg and Bremerhaven.
But the port is under pressure to cut other harbor dues as its rivals are discounting or freezing rates in response to sluggish traffic, particularly on the key Asia-Europe trade.
JadeWeser, which will have annual capacity close to 3 million TEUs in its final phase, is initially focusing on transhipment traffic.
Maersk Line is the terminal’s launch customer, adding it to the rotation of its AE1 Europe-Asia and CRX South America services.