What makes a port attractive to a shipping line?



Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg, Germany


As one of the leading carriers in the world, Hapag-Lloyd continuously observes and analyses both current and future developments in the ports and terminals field. This is not only true for Hapag-Lloyd’s 160+ ports of call internationally, which are connected by a network of almost 80 services. Other ports, expansion projects and planned new terminals around the world are also continuously evaluated and compared to existing facilities.

Commercial and technical considerations for ships
When choosing a port, first of all, purely commercial and technical considerations are the main focus: Is there an attractive market in the catchment area with customers and sufficient volumes? Is transport infrastructure available for pre- and on-carriage by rail, truck or inland waterway vessel? Do draft and terminal equipment meet the necessary requirements? Subsequently other factors are evaluated, such as performance; available capacity (berths and gantry cranes); sufficient, trained personnel; maintenance and repair of terminal equipment; possible expansion opportunities, as well as port dues and cost of lay time, handling and other services.

Smooth cooperation with a port or terminal also means, for example, that when a ship is delayed, faster handling can compensate for the delay. Here the age of the equipment, the personnel available, sufficient capacity and perhaps likelihood of strikes all play a role. Generally, the more modern the equipment in a terminal, the more seldom interruptions for repairs are to be expected, and the more likely it is that short-term peak handling can be carried out flexibly.

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