August 18 - In the first half of 2016, the nine Lower Saxony seaports in Germany handled 23.8 million tonnes of cargo, slightly down on the same period of 2015 (25.7 million tonnes).

Volumes of general cargo were up seven percent at 5.7 million tonnes compared to the first half of 2015 with project freight relating to the wind energy sector contributing strongly.

Inke Onnen-Lübben, managing director of the port marketing company, Seaports of Niedersachsen says that the performance in the first half of 2016 was negatively impacted by a fall in the level of bulk cargoes. She added that after a very strong 2015, a consolidation of the volumes being handled at a high level is being seen and the figures for the first half of 2016 remain ahead of those recorded in the first half year of 2014.

Highlights from the various ports included the port of Cuxhaven with around 1.42 million tonnes of cargo - up 22 percent and buoyed by a larger volume of offshore components.

In the port of Emden, whilst overall volumes were down slightly there were increases in the handling of wind energy components.