The Bremerhaven auto terminal, Europe’s largest, is operating normally after it was overwhelmed by a surge in German car exports to Asia and North America.
Terminal operator BLG Logistics said exports are expected to continue at current high levels following a 40 percent slump in 2009.
But there won’t be a repeat of the situation in mid-July when 45 ocean car carriers called at the German port in a single week, almost twice the weekly average of 25 arrivals.
With many dockers and auto drivers on vacation the terminal became congested and nine car carriers were unable to dock on arrival at the port.
The company that provides labor to the terminal recruited and trained an additional 270 drivers, who cleared up the backlog of cars within 10 days.
BLG said exports through the terminal reached 564,000 vehicles in the first half of the year, an increase of 78 percent on the same period in 2009, largely driven by high demand for German cars in Asia and the United States.
Imports, by contrast, fell below last year’s low level of 140,000, a decline of 60 percent on the record traffic of 2008.
The company blamed the poor import figures on the end of Germany’s cash-for-clunkers program and the move by Korean and Japanese manufacturers to move production to Eastern Europe.
--Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.