Hamburg, 1st February 2010+++ Through a joint venture operated by their intermodal subsidiaries in Germany, the port logistics groups EUROGATE and HHLA intend to set up full-service hinterland terminals and depots for container traffic from and to German seaports.
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and EUROGATE Group aim to jointly build up a terminal network for container handling in Germany. The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has now given the green light for this project. HHLA Intermodal GmbH and EUROGATE Intermodal GmbH, the two groups’ hinterland companies, each have a 50 percent stake in the venture. In the start-up phase the joint venture will be developing schemes for terminals, considering potential locations, constructing facilities with integrated depots, and where appropriate promoting it further. The aim is to achieve a sustained improvement in the operational parameters for maritime transport and logistics chains in the hinterland of German seaports.
Dr. Sebastian Jürgens, HHLA Executive Board member for the Intermodal and Logistics segments:
“In providing better and more intelligent links with the hinterland, with our project we shall be boosting the competitiveness of German seaports. That is wholly in tune with the German government’s national port strategy.”
Emanuel Schiffer, Chairman of EUROGATE Management:
“We want to extend the high standards of quality of German seaports to the hinterland terminals as well. HHLA Intermodal and EUROGATE Intermodal are here making available their expertise to improve maritime logistics chains, with the entire logistics sector profiting from that.”
Full-service hinterland terminals with integrated depots
Whereas existing hinterland terminals are primarily designed to meet the requirements of continental services, the full-service hinterland terminals will be designed especially for the present and future needs of the growing volume of container services in global transport chains. With their integrated depots, the facilities will also offer storage capacities in immediate proximity to target markets.
“We shall be building state-of-the-art terminals in the hinterland, allowing large container volumes to be concentrated even better,” said HHLA Executive Board member Dr. Jürgens. “Only by doing that shall we boost opportunities for further switching from road to rail. The potential is immense.”
“The seaport is edging closer to its final customers,” said Emanuel Schiffer, Chairman of EUROGATE Group Management. “Transport chains will be simpler to plan and more reliable. Planability and reliability are factors that will make a favourable impact on transport costs for the customers of our hinterland terminals.”
With spaces for container storage and rail sidings and offering such services as container repair, the planned terminals match the requirements of the operators of combined services. For instance, they will improve the prerequisites for forming more efficient shuttle systems by rail between the seaport and the hinterland terminal. Integrated information chains facilitate improved coordination of production processes in the seaports and in the hinterland. That represents a further step in the ‘industrialization of the transport chain’, with improved utilization of existing infrastructure.
“As a seaport we want to be present in Germany’s major centres of production and consumption. We are accordingly planning facilities wherever especially heavy transport volumes can be anticipated,” said HHLA board member Dr. Jürgens.
Transfer from road to rail
Higher quality and performance capacity at hinterland terminals will not only facilitate successful handling of growth in volumes, but will also offer a strong incentive for switching traffic from road to rail. An intermodal chain offering the best carrier for each stage of the journey also has substantial ecological advantages.
“As seaports, we are also practising environmental protection in the hinterland. In saving energy, emissions and space with our new terminals in the hinterland, we are playing a substantial part in making goods traffic environmentally compatible,” said Dr. Jürgens.
Strengthening the position of German seaports
Until 2008, European container ports and their hinterland systems were operating at the limit of their capacity, which resulted in partial restrictions on the growth and quality of the logistics and transport chains of shippers. Pressure has eased on account of the economic crisis. Nevertheless, medium- and long-term forecasts assume further growth in container handling. In the hinterland of German seaports, moreover, stiffer competition between European ports is apparent. Better seaport-hinterland links can therefore only strengthen the position of the German ports.
“We must strengthen our competitive position vis-à-vis other ports in Europe,” said Emanuel Schiffer. “Otherwise we run the risk that the hinterland in Germany will be served more efficiently from other seaports than from those in North Germany.”
If sustainable transport systems are to be implemented despite trucking’s strongly competitive position, the expansion of inland handling and storage capacities that satisfy maritime requirements will be essential. The German government’s national port strategy also calls for increased use of transport chains of the kind that combi traffic facilitates, also singling out hitherto neglected competitive opportunities.
“Despite a weak market, last year on hinterland services we consolidated our position well. As a port, we are now going over to the offensive. And in doing so we are laying the foundation stone for future growth,” said Dr. Jürgens of HHLA’s Executive Board
The significance of maritime transport services for the economy
Large areas of the German economy are dependent on maritime transport chains. With the planned hinterland terminals the seaports will occupy an additional vital hub, boosting their reliability for customers. That is an important prerequisite for efficient organization of complex logistics chains, for example through more intelligent control of pre-carriage and on-carriage runs to and from seaports.
“With specialized terminals we shall be taking the seaport closer to the customer and to industry. Everybody profits from that,” said Dr. Jürgens. In that context, frequency, service and price are the essential criteria for superior link quality.
EUROGATE is Europe’s leading container terminal and logistics group. Jointly with Contship Italia, the network operates ten container terminals from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. A new sea terminal is currently under construction in Wilhelmshaven. The range of services is rounded off by intermodal services and specialized logistics management. EUROGATE was founded in 1999. For further details, see: www.eurogate.eu
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is one of the leading port logistics groups in the European North Range. With its Container, Intermodal and Logistics segments, HHLA is positioned vertically along the transport chain. Efficient container terminals, high-capacity transport systems and a full range of logistics services form a complete network between the overseas port and its European hinterland.
About EUROGATE Intermodal
EUROGATE Intermodal (EGIM) offers an integrated transport network from the German seaports to South Germany and S.E. Europe. Customers receive details of their tailormade transport solution, whether rail or road, from EGIM. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EUROGATE, Europe’s largest network of container-terminal operators. For further details: www.egim.eu.
About HHLA Intermodal
HHLA’s intermodal companies offer a comprehensive rail and road transport network linking German seaports with their hinterland in Europe. The main transport services are to Central and Eastern Europe. In 2008 the HHLA network transported over 1.8 million standard containers. The rail companies TFG Transfracht (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Metrans (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) and Polzug (Poland, the CIS countries) have successfully specialized in their regional markets, each being the market leader for container services by rail. By road, Container-Transport-Dienst (CTD) delivers containers through its branches Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin and Kornwestheim, as well as with long-haul services. HHLA will be systematically expanding its network in the years to come.