Port of Hamburg recently announced that China is now its largest trading partner.
In a statement, Germany's largest seaport said it handled around 2.6 million TEUs or standard containers for the China trade alone.
It said one in three containers crossing the quay walls in the Port of Hamburg is coming in or bound for China with a total of 15 liner services linking Hamburg with all of China’s major ports.
In 2018 exports to China worth €5.3 billion ($5.84 million) were handled by the port, representing direct foreign trade between Hamburg and China, along with imports valued at €8 billion ($8.8 billion).
In 2018 the volume of goods transported by ocean-going vessels between Hamburg and China totaled around 24 million tons.
Port of Hamburg also said it is ready to support the overland transport from China through the rail link, an alternative to sea/air freight for time-sensitive freight.
"As the hub for China cargoes transported by oceangoing vessel, with its far-reaching China expertise as well as excellent commercial connections, it is only logical that Hamburg should play a key role for rail shipments along the New Silk Road,” says Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.
In 2014, the Port said an annual total of almost 800 trains with a volume of 25,000 TEUs were taking the New Silk Road between China and Western Europe. In 2016 the figure rose to 1,700 trains with a container volume of 145,000 TEU.
From 2027, it is expected that at least 670,000 TEUs should be rolling along the Eurasian rail corridors annually.
The Port said aside from shipping, Hamburg is also Germany’s leading hub for rail borne freight traffic with more than 200 freight trains reaching or leaving the Port of Hamburg daily.
Every week, 36 container block-trains operate between Hamburg and 20 Chinese destinations. Around 120,000 TEUs were transported by rail between Hamburg and China in 2018.
The port city in northern Germany is seen as China’s gateway to Europe for Chinese products, and at the same time as the German export trade’s gateway to Asia.