Business facts - Hamburg Metropolitan Region

The Port of Hamburg and Hamburg Metropolitan Region – with its convenient position for transport between the North and Baltic Seas – have become a central hub for flows of goods between North Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa.

Business facts - Hamburg Metropolitan Region

After Rotterdam, the Port of Hamburg is Europe’s second biggest port – and world wide it ranks eighth. Ocean-borne cargo-handling in the Port of Hamburg, with the world’s most modern container terminal in Altenwerder, increased by 9m tonnes (7.3 per cent) in 2006 and hit a new handling record of some 135m tonnes. 

 The main generator of growth in 2006 was once again container transport. In container handling, 89.5m tonnes or 8.9m containers (TEU) were unloaded and loaded in Hamburg. This is equivalent to growth of 9.6 per cent over the previous year. In 2006, the port/logistics sector alone employed 230,000 people. It was and still is the region’s largest employer. The rail network in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region also makes it North Europe’s most important railway hub – which includes the world’s largest marshalling yard in Maschen (Harburg district). All in all, it is Northern Europe’s leading logistics region.

The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is one of Germany’s strongest economic areas, as development in the aerospace sector demonstrates. The number of engineers in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region rose by 62 per cent between 2000-06. In Germany as a whole, the figure was only 18 per cent. With the construction of the Airbus A380, the region is involved in an internationally outstanding project. The region’s status as an aerospace region is proven by the numerous highly specialised suppliers to the industry throughout the area, as well as its core competences in cabin construction and carbon fibre-enhanced plastics. In 2006, about 35,000 people in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region were working in the aerospace sector. Measured by the number of employees, the aerospace sector in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is the third largest civilian aviation industry location in the world, after Seattle and Toulouse.

Life sciences technologies are also one of the region’s key sectors. To exploit the considerable growth potential in innovative medicine and biotechnology and gear up the Hamburg Metropolitan Region to be one of the internationally leading regions for life sciences, the North German life sciences agency Norgenta was set up in December 2003. Norgenta is the coordination office for the life sciences sector in the North German region. It promotes innovative projects and looks after networking and location marketing.

Looking at all areas of the economy, it becomes clear that the spectrum of economic clusters in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is broad.

  • Port / Logistics
  • Aerospace
  • Maritime economy
  • Life sciences
  • Chemicals
  • Food industry
  • Renewable energies
  • Tourism
  • Media and information
  • Engineering and vehicle production

Various initiatives across the Hamburg Metropolitan Region support networking and promotion within specific clusters.

  • SüderelbeAG (logistics, engineering and vehicle production)
  • Food industry and Maritime economy
  • Norgenta GmbH (Life sciences)
  • Hamburg logistics initiative
  • Hamburg aerospace initiative