Hamburg unveils first phase of Elbe expansion

hamburg elbe

The Port of Hamburg has announced that vessels with a combined width of up to 98 meters may pass each other in a widened section of the Elbe river known as the ‘passing box’, which now has a width of 385 meters.

The announcement marks the next stage in the widening of the Elbe, which began in July 2019, a major undertaking that looks to increase efficiency and traffic, and the port’s ability to handle the next fleet of mega-ships.

In a statement, Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg, said: “With the initial fairway widenings of the Elbe, meanwhile completed, we are on a good course, immediately improving the conditions for calls by mega-ships.

“For shipping and our port customers, this is really gratifying news for the start of the year.”

Andreas Scheuer, German Minister of Transport, also commented: “We started dredging operations on the Lower and Outer Elbe at the end of July. In our section, the work on widening has now been completed.

“As soon as the work in the up-river section of the passing stretch through Hamburg has been completed, the combined width of ships passing can be raised.

“For shipping, this boosts flexibility, efficiency, capacity and safety. Because more and also larger vessels can call and depart simultaneously, the number of mega-containerships can then be more than doubled to 2,800 containerships per year.”

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