Source: Port of Hamburg
Freight transport between Austria and the Port of Hamburg is flourishing. Setting a fresh record, 2021 container throughput of 320,776 TEU – 20-ft standard containers was up by 6.46 percent on the previous year. “Despite the corona pandemic, both generally good demand for export goods and stable imports ensured a positive trend. The year 2022 also started well,” said Alexander Till, head of HHM – Port of Hamburg Marketing’s Representative Office for Austria in Vienna, adding that: “Ever since the start of containerization in the 1970s, Hamburg has remained the most important port for Austria in this segment. In recent decades, its market share has constantly been between 40 and 50 percent.”
The figure for total throughput is still more impressive. At 5.6 million tons, this was up by 26.74 percent on 2020. The main products exported from Austria were timber, paper, beverages, fittings, machinery and plant. Austria mainly imported merchandise, furniture, building materials, sports goods and bulk cargoes like coal and iron ore. “Since 2019, VOEST has again been regularly importing iron ore and coal via Hamburg. 2021 the total was 2.3 million tons. In this sector, that represents significant business for the Port of Hamburg,” explained Till.
Austrian companies make special use of Hamburg’s vast range of over 100 liner services serving around 1000 seaports worldwide. They also benefit from pre- and post-voyage hinterland links. “No other port offers Austrian industry such favourable conditions. Rail dominates, transporting 98 percent of Austrian container volume to and from Hamburg,” confirmed Till. Hamburg is also top destination for Austrian Rail – ÖBB container trains. Well-developed rail routes to Hamburg allow trains to be operated with maximum weight and length. This makes the freight rate per container unbeatably reasonable. In 2021, 160 block train services per week linked Austria with Hamburg.
The Port of Hamburg’s significance for the Austrian economy was recognized at an early stage. Splendid trade and political relations between Austria and Hamburg extend back for centuries. The first Austrian consulate in Hamburg opened in 1570. The Port of Hamburg opened its first Representative Office worldwide in 1951 in Vienna. After a break caused by the pandemic, it plans to host four events this year in Austria, with over 600 participants expected.