Port and logistics

Hamburg Metropolitan Region – Port and logistics

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The sector – Logistics in the North

Globalisation has led to a huge increase in volumes of worldwide trade. Nowadays, goods are produced in every corner of the globe, from which they then need to be delivered to other parts of the world. The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is a major beneficiary of this trend. Its geographical position at the interface between the booming regions of East Asia and North, Central and Eastern Europe, coupled with its traditional expertise in logistics, makes the Metropolitan Region the best in Northern Europe.

A well functioning logistics sector is indispensable for the efficiency of other economic sectors. Since the era of the Hanseatic League, therefore, the Metropolitan Region and its global trading tradition have been highly competent in this field. Today, logistics means far more than just storage, transport and transhipment. The branch’s responses to pressure on speed and efficiency, highest expectations of quality, as well as the extreme variability of conditions in other parts of the world, have made logistics a high-tech business.

Today, logistics is one of the Metropolitan Region’s most crucial branches. Many companies use the Metropolitan Region for cargo handling, distribution and warehousing. Multinational companies control their global networks from here. A total workforce of 240,000 helps to ensure the success of the logistics cluster – and it’s growing.

Focal point – Port and rail transhipment – goods on their way into the world

Logistics location

Hamburg Metropolitan Region’s excellent links with world markets are not confined to the Elbe and the Port of Hamburg, but include the road and rail networks and air freight. Goods of every description and quantity are optimally distributed from the Metropolitan Region to the rest of the world. A cargo that cannot be consigned or organised from here just does not exist.

Looking at all the deep-sea containers landed or shipped in Germany, two out of any three will have been dispatched or landed in the Metropolitan Region. This is made possible by excellent and highly productive infrastructure, such as the world’s most modern container terminal, Altenwerder, in the Port of Hamburg, which transhipped a total 2.4m TEU in 2007, and by the biggest rail marshalling yard at Maschen.

Motorways connect the Port of Hamburg, for instance, with the conurbations of Bremen and Hanover. Additional planned motorways and a new crossing over the Elbe will improve the inter-regional links of the region even more. Hamburg airport is a vital link in the backbone of logistics infrastructure with its highly efficient cargo logistics. The Metropolitan Region is a pivotal European rail junction, as well as having efficient inland waterway connections via the Elbe and the Elbe bypass channel. Combined consignments have the choice of Hamburg-Billwerder, Brunsbüttel or Stade terminals. The Kiel Canal between Brunsbüttel and Kiel is one of the most crucial and busy transport links for international shipping.

Port and shipping location

The Port of Hamburg is the engine driving success in the Metropolitan Region. With freight handling totalling 140m tonnes in 2007, the Port of Hamburg is number one in Northern Europe. With a turnaround of almost 10m standard containers every year, it is one of the top 10 largest ports in the world. It is the central European port for goods from Asia. Transhipment statistics are also on the increase at the other seaports in the area, Brunsbüttel, Cuxhaven, Kiel, Lübeck or Stade. Then come the inland ports of Lüneburg, Uelzen, Geesthacht and Lauenburg along the Elbe and the Elbe bypass channel, which are also able to benefit from growing inland waterway traffic as well as from tighter capacities in the metropolis.

The Metropolitan Region is a leading shipping location: Almost three-quarters of all global time charter contracts for container ships are transacted in Hamburg and its surroundings, and about one quarter of global ship capacity is owned by shipping lines in the region. Not only are ship owners and shipping agents located here, but also every kind of service supplier connected with ships and containers: everything from Agencies to the Zambian consulate: Studies forecast a doubling of container handling in the Port of Hamburg by 2015; by 2025 transhipment should have almost tripled.

Freight shipment centres (GVZ)

The rapid growth in volume of freight shipments and the increasing significance of combined transports will make freight shipment centres ever more important to the Metropolitan Region. As the meeting point of different forms of transport and inter-regional and regional traffic, they help to make transport chains more environmentally acceptable. Freight shipment centres are currently planned in the southern part of the Metropolitan Region in Lüneburg, Stade and Uelzen.

Education, research & development – Research and education driving innovation 

There is an outstanding choice of establishments offering vocational and further training and research institutes in Hamburg Metropolitan Region. A good overview can be found in Internet (“Logistik Lernen”) but in German only. Several internationally known university-level institutions in Hamburg offer a variety of degree courses. The spectrum ranges from general degrees through to specialist logistics bachelor and master degree courses.

In addition to the Hamburg universities TUHH (Hamburg-Harburg technical university/Kühne School of Logistics), HAW (Hamburg university of applied sciences) and HSU (Helmut Schmidt University), Leuphana University Lüneburg’s faculty of production and business informatics researches topics such as supply chain management and improvement of existing logistics systems. The Hamburg University institute for transport economics makes an important contribution to fundamental research and to training.

These offerings are supported by vocational and further training programmes at Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony vocational schools, chambers of industry and commerce and private educational institutions. Those interested in an initial training in the area of logistics and port management can contact an agency for vacant apprenticeship places. Job seekers in the port and warehousing logistics and seafaring branches can try their luck with the Maritime competence centre (ma-co). It also organises modular further training schemes tailored to the needs of companies.

Business development – Logistics initiatives for Hamburg Metropolitan Region

More than 380 companies and institutions in industry, commerce and services, together with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, are sponsoring the Hamburg logistics initiative. Its aim is to develop the region even further as North Europe’s leading logistics centre. The emphasis will be on pushing forward innovation and new technologies.

The initiative promotes networks between business, the scientific community and politics, from exchanges of information through to lasting cooperation. The logistics initiative bundles the ideas, needs and interests of the companies and offers businesses interested in relocating into the region a one-stop shop for relocation management.

Within the northern Metropolitan Region, regional business development agencies act as contacts, acting together as regional management for logistics. The Brunsbüttel-based project egeb in Brunsbüttel will be working closely with the Hamburg logistics initiative. The objective is to provide services for business from one source and to develop logistics sites that are already available and developed.

In the southern Hamburg Metropolitan Region, Süderelbe AG puts companies located in the region in contact with each other. In addition to initiating its projects especially for the logistics business, this one-stop agency is the central service provider for all relocation and site-relevant issues in the Süderelbe region. Süderelbe AG ensures optimal crosslinks between location and logistics know-how through effective development of large logistics sites and a real estate and consultancy service for logistics companies. It searches for optimal locations, brokers suitable sites, brings users and investors together, supervises purchase negotiations, and support planning and approvals processes with responsible authorities.

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