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Press release

STRONG GROWTH IN THROUGHPUT IN H1 Published on 13 August 2021

Press release of the Senator for Science and Ports

The first six months of this year saw a sharp increase in total throughput at the ports of Bremen. Between January and the end of June, the ports handled a total of 35.2 million tons, an increase of 7.8 per cent year-on-year.

“It is particularly satisfying that in some areas, throughput has now actually exceeded the pre-Corona figures,” stated Dr Claudia Schilling, Senator for Science and Ports, commenting on the newly published data.

One example is container traffic: with growth of 11.1 %, container throughput is now higher than before the pandemic. Throughput in this segment amounted to a total of 2.59 million TEU, 440,000 TEU of which were handled in June alone. The ports of Bremen were even more successful in another segment: during H1, 934,000 vehicles were transhipped at the ports, an increase of 34.4 per cent. However, it has to be borne in mind that the pandemic had caused a drastic slump in vehicle throughput during H1 2020.

The Senator commented, “Despite extreme disruptions in supply chains and the resulting problems for global shipping, the ports of Bremen not only succeeded in defending their position, but actually improved it. This clearly shows that the service and flexibility offered by our cargo handling companies ensure that they are absolutely competitive, even in times of crisis.”

The total figures for the first half of the year are as follows: Bremerhaven handled 29.2 million tons during the first six months of this year. Bremen handled 6.035 million tons, achieving impressive growth of 26.5 per cent.

“Altogether we can be highly satisfied with the first half of 2021,” stated Senator Schilling.

“The Senate’s active investment policies have put the ports on the right track. The decision to modernise the container quay and expand the cruise shipping terminal are evidence of these forward-looking port policies.”

However, not all the developments last year were positive. “The destruction of the swing bridge at the port in Bremerhaven, which played a central role for all traffic, confronted the entire companies at the port with major problems which we were responsible for solving,” said the Senator. “Just three months after the accident, we can rightly claim that our port management company bremenports took all necessary steps as soon as possible to keep the adverse effects of the accident to a minimum.”

bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe regards the destroyed swing bridge as the greatest challenge that faced the company during the first half of the year. “We are currently doing everything in our power to keep the Columbus peninsula accessible even without the bridge. We will operate a type of ferry service to replace the bridge as the connection to the mainland for the Columbus peninsula and the companies located there. But even while we are still implementing this temporary solution, we will present the initial plans for the construction of a new bridge.”

Howe added that despite all the unplanned work involved in connection with the unusable swing bridge, bremenports had made good progress with its planned construction and maintenance projects. The new Quay 66, a technically complex construction project, would be completed very soon, while modernisation of the lock and the construction of a new quay at Bremerhaven’s Fischereihafen were proceeding according to schedule. Another major project which was currently at the planning stage was the construction of a new quay at the Columbus cruise terminal.

On behalf of the Senator for Science and Ports, bremenports is currently drawing up a new port concept which will present the development prospects for the coming decades. Senator Schilling stated, “The figures for H1 prove that thanks to our active port policies, we have created ideal conditions for strengthening the position of our ports over the long term.”