The Port of Hamburg on the river Elbe is Europe’s second largest in terms of number of containers handled. The port is situated in the heart of the Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city with 1.8 million inhabitants.
With a growing number of containers going in and out of the port of Hamburg, expansion is an issue continuously being discussed. However, geographical expansion into the surrounding area is intentionally not pursued. Instead, increasing capacity needs are met by making more efficient use of existing land and generating new areas by filling in expendable harbour basins.
With the changes in maritime traffic towards container ships with higher tonnage, the current port zones to the east have become redundant. Therefore, they have been designated as development land for housing and commercial purposes. For instance, 155 hectares of the eastern port zone situated on the northern banks of the River Elbe have since 1997 been allocated for re-development as a residential and office area named “HafenCity” (PortCity).
Despite a growing number of containers handled in the Port of Hamburg, the overall CO2 emissions from transport from Hamburg City has been kept at a steady level for the past ten years.
This success can partly be explained by the efforts which Hamburg’s Port Authority has put into improving air quality in the heart of the big city. For instance, the Port Authority supports and assists terminal management enterprises in climate protection initiatives such as van carriers with hybrid drive, power feeds at gantry cranes and light management in logistic halls.