Port of Hamburg successfully completes its Expansion along the Elbe Waterway

The Port of Hamburg has recently completed its expansion along the Elbe waterway, thereby achieving the goal of enabling containerships with a draft of up to 13.5 m to reach the third-largest port in Europe regardless of the tide has now been achieved.

The port expansion, completed by dredging the waterway, has increased the traversable area from Hamburg to the North Sea at Cuxhaven and is deemed a significant improvement to the waterways’ capability. Also, the navigation channel of the Lower and Outer Elbe has been deepened and widened at various places, thereby enabling a greater number of ocean vessels to pass through and load/discharge more cargo.

The entire project was completed in two phases. Post-implementation of the first phase in the spring of 2021, the port authorities received an excellent response to the expansion. According to official data, 2377 containerships had called on the port between May and December 2021, of which 666 vessels had a draft of 13.8 m. Had these changes not been made, it would have been highly impossible to accommodate 96 of these ships. As the larger vessels are more fuel-efficient, the fuel usage is reduced, leading to economic and ecological benefits.

Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg’s minister of economics, believes the completion of the expansion work to be a milestone for shipping traffic in Hamburg. For Germany’s largest port, it means improved access conditions that will enable shipping companies to bring more cargo to Hamburg.