Hamburger Hafen und Logistik, Hamburg’s biggest stevedore, is hiring 100 new employees as it boosts its share of the northwest European container market.
HHLA increased traffic at its terminals in Hamburg and Odessa, Ukraine, by 6.8 percent year-over-year in the first half of the year to 3.8 million 20-foot-equivalent units.
The increase contrasted with a slight overall decline in traffic across the Le Havre-Hamburg port range and was three times greater than the overall 2.1 percent traffic growth at the Port of Hamburg in the first half of 2013. The port handled 4.5 million TEUs in the first half.
Some of the new jobs at HHLA’s two Hamburg terminals — Allenwerder and Burchardkai — will go to the port city’s long-term unemployed. The company currently has a staff of 4,937.
The sharply higher first half traffic figures were driven mainly by 12.6 percent growth in Baltic Sea feeder shipments and an 8.5 percent jump in shipments in the key Asia-Europe trade.
HHLA’s intermodal unit, comprising the Metrans and Polzug rail operators and the CTP trucking company, reported traffic growth of 21.8 percent to 581,000 TEUs, even as the European hinterland market contracted.
The financial performance did not match the improved traffic figures. Operating profit declined 8.2 percent year-over-year to 141.9 million euros ($187 million), reflecting pricing pressure and significant additional expenses because of the continuing delays in dredging the river Elbe that connects Hamburg to the open sea.
Revenue increased 1.6 percent to 575.2 million euros ($759 million).