Two German ports partner to cur CO2

Inland vessel at HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg. Photo: HHLA

Two port operators in Germany will form a strategic partnership to promote environmentally friendly inland waterway shipping.

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), which operates three container terminals at the Port of Hamburg, and Hafenbetriebsgesellschaft Braunschweig mbH, the Port of Braunschweig’s operating company, will work together to promote inland waterway shipping in hinterland container transport between Hamburg and the inland port in Lower Saxony to cut CO2 emissions.

The Port of Hamburg is the largest rail port in Europe, however, the distance between Hamburg and Braunschweig, approximately 180km, is too short to transport containers by train. Inland waterway shipping is an alternative to truck transport on this route. Transit time via the waterway is approximately 24 hours.

Reducing truck journeys

“Hamburg and Braunschweig have excellent connections via the river Elbe, the Elbe Lateral Canal and the Mittelland Canal,” said HHLA executive board member Jens Hansen, responsible for operations.

He pointed out that 70,000 standard containers were moved between Hamburg and Braunschweig via the waterway last year, saving approximately 40,000 truck journeys. “In order to shift additional transport volume to environmentally friendly inland waterway carriers, we want to work together with the Port of Braunschweig to develop new transport concepts for companies interested in forwarding goods,” said Mr. Hansen. This will relieve the burden on roads and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time.

“We currently offer seven inland waterway departures between Hamburg and Braunschweig per week,” reported Jens Hohls, managing director of Braunschweig’s port operating company.

This strategic collaboration with an inland port is a first for HHLA. Mr. Hansen confirmed that additional ones will follow; the company is already conducting discussions with further inland ports in the hinterland of the Port of Hamburg.

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