The Port of Braunschweig’s operating company and Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) have entered an agreement to begin a strategic partnership.
This is the first time HHLA has made such a strategic partnership with an inland port, according to a company release on 16 July.
The company is already conducting discussions with other inland ports and more partnerships are expected to follow.
The goal is to promote environmentally friendly inland waterway shipping in hinterland container transport between Hamburg and the inland port in Lower Saxony.
The Port of Hamburg is the largest rail port in Europe, and rail-based hinterland traffic is one of its particular strengths, HHLA said in a statement.
However, this competitive advantage often cannot be utilised on short routes. The distance between Hamburg and Braunschweig, approximately 180 kilometres, is too short for the train. Inland waterway shipping is an attractive alternative to truck transport on this route. Transit time via the waterway is approximately 24 hours.
“Hamburg and Braunschweig have excellent connections via the river Elbe, the Elbe Lateral Canal and the Mittelland Canal,” said HHLA Executive Board member Jens Hansen, responsible for operations.
In 2019, 70,000 standard containers were moved between Hamburg and Braunschweig via the waterway, saving approximately 40,000 truck journeys.
“In order to shift additional transport volume to environmentally friendly inland waterway carriers, we want to work together with the Port of Braunschweig to develop new transport concepts for companies interested in forwarding goods,” said Hansen. This will relieve the burden on roads and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time.
Seven inland waterway departures between Hamburg and Braunschweig are offered every week, according to Jens Hohls, managing director of Braunschweig’s port operating company.
“This traffic must run reliably. Our strategic partnership with HHLA is therefore particularly important to us,” he said.