The project will cost $700 million, and it went through a long series of legal battles, mostly about environmental issues. But now the project is ready to begin. The Port of Hamburg let the contract to DEME engineering, as World Maritime News reported. Dredging Today reported that the contract has a value of EUR 238 million (including VAT). The article below contains many facts about the project’s scale, but does not offer a completion target date.
It is interesting to point out, as Alexander Whiteman did in his Loadstar article, that Hamburg, by virtue of its inland location, is also able to link with rail service via the One Belt One Road initiative of China, as well as multiple barge routes.
The Maritime Executive reported that the project was approved finally in August of 2018. But such a large investment takes time to get ramped up.
There is still some resistance to the project and there are a few appeal opportunities left. But it seems very unlikely that opponents will take them up.
The port has recently experienced an upsurge in container traffic. According to Port of Hamburg, almost one-third of the container traffic is related to China. Seaborne cargo throughput reached 34.6 million tons, up 6%. Container handling reached 2.3 million TEUs. Some of this was due to four new transatlantic services run by THE alliance.
And hinterland traffic grew 8.0 percent. Hamburg is famous for offering many feeder links, including around 2100 block train (unit train in US lingo) connections.
Part of the upswing is due to volatility induced by the tariff games going on in the world right now. Firms are stocking up before the tariffs go into effect. Whether the upward trend will continue is unclear, but certainly deepening the Elbe waterway will offer ocean carriers greater flexibility in route selection.
I have a special fondness for the Port of Hamburg after visiting it for the IAME conference in 2016.