Hamburg edges out Bremerhaven as The Alliance partners shift 500,000 teu to new home port.
Boost for HHLA as carriers confirm use of Container Terminal Altenwerder for US east coast services.
THE Alliance plans to relocate its German base port for its transatlantic network from Bremerhaven to Hamburg to provide better inland connectivity and greater access to the region’s local market.
A customer advisory from German carrier Hapag-Lloyd said the decision would take place in the fourth quarter and would affect the group’s weekly northern Europe to US east coast loops.
Alphaliner said the move would consolidate The Alliance’s transatlantic portfolio at a single pier, HHLA’s Container Terminal Altenwerder, which already serves its northern Europe-US west coast AL5 service and the Hapag-Lloyd’s Europe-Canada loops. Hapag-Lloyd holds a 25.1% stake in the terminal.
It will provide a boost to CTA, which although one of Europe’s more advanced terminals is located behind the Kohlbrand suspension bridge, which limits the size of ships that can call to around 15,000 teu.
“While CTA does handle large mainline container services to and from the Far East, this could be increasingly problematic when more such loops deploy 18,000 plus teu vessels,” Alphaliner said.
“In the long run, The Alliance and HHLA will thus be forced to move further calls of large-scale loops to other Hamburg terminals, as they already have done,” it added. “Turning CTA into a North America hub would therefore solve the accessibility problem as the terminal is perfectly suited to handle vessels of the size deployed on transatlantic services.”
However, the move will likely be a blow to Eurogate’s terminal in Bremerhaven, where the loops are currently handled, Alphaliner added.
Alphaliner estimates that the combined four services account for some 500,000 teu of annual cargo handling at Bremerhaven, or roughly 9% of the port’s full-year throughput and possibly close to half of Eurogate Bremerhaven’s volumes.