February 16 - With 110 million tonnes of seaborne cargo handled in 2009, Germany's biggest universal port fell short of the previous year's result by around 30 million tonnes (- 21.4 per cent).

However, Claudia Roller, chairwoman of Port of Hamburg Marketing Association, said improvements are in sight for 2010, and port-related industries anticipate a moderate level of growth.

Roller said:"With a total transhipment volume of 110.4 million tonnes in what was a difficult year for the entire port-related industries and shipping sector, we recorded an exceptionally severe decline in the history of our port to date. How­ever, since the third quarter of 2009, we have seen initial signs of a stabilising trend, and we are now witnessing a slight upward trend again."

"We take the view that Ger­many's export-intensive economy will benefit from the growth in global trade as early as 2010.

Import cargoes amounted to 62.2 million tons (- 24.2 percent) whilst exports via Hamburg also declined compared with the same period of last year, with a total of 48.2 million tonnes (- 17.4 percent). 
The effects of the global economic slump hit general cargo, the dominant segment for the Port of Hamburg with 73.6 million tonnes (- 24.8 percent), more severely than bulk cargo handling, which amounted to a total of 36.8 million tonnes (- 13.4 per cent) for 2009.

The total volumes of project cargoes fell from 722,000 tonnes in 2008 to 621,000 tonnes in 2009 (- 13.9 percent).

Roller added: "The Port of Hamburg needs to market its strengths in an effort to succeed in the face of international competition. Over recent weeks and months, HHM has registered growing interest in membership in the association and its activities, and it is stepping up its marketing programme for the year 2010 with more than 60 customer events, participation at numerous international trade fairs, more market research and a stronger image marketing campaign."