March 26 - The newly-formed association of Lower Saxony Seaports has described its 10-point programme to improve its members' efficiency and competitiveness.

In 2012, the northwest German ports of Brake, Cuxhaven, Emden, Leer, Nordenham, Oldenburg, Papenburg, Stade and Wilhelmshaven handled more than 50.1 million tons (45.4 million tonnes) of goods by sea - a nine percent year-on-year improvement over 2011.
With a growing demand for offshore and onshore wind energy in Saxony, seaports are vital to the development of the emerging industry. For Germany as a whole the gateways have importance as national logistics hub, according to the association.
The programme has been developed as a basis for creating and implementing strategies to improve the competitiveness of the region's ports.
Key highlights include: the need to continuously invest in and develop Lower Saxony seaports; to maintain and expand the gateways using feasible and reliable financing methods; and improving hinterland connectivity.