The expansion in turnover of goods handled by Niedersachsen’s seaports last year is attributable to the strong growth in the handling of bulk goods, as well as general freight and new vehicles. With around 52 million tonnes of goods shipped by sea, the nine seaports in Niedersachsen enjoyed a growth of 12 % compared to the previous year.
Around 40.9 million tonnes of liquid and solid bulk goods were shipped by sea via the seaports in Niedersachsen in 2015 – this was a rise of 4 % year-on-year (39.3 million tonnes in 2014). The general freight handling has also developed very positively: with around 11.05 million tonnes shipped by sea, this volume rose by around 57 % year-on-year (7.05 million tonnes in 2014). In addition to positive developments in the handling of large quantities of general freight, such as steel and project shipments, this was driven in particular by the considerable rise in the volume of containers handled at the Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven: 426,751 TEU were handled here in 2015 (67,076 TEU in 2014). The shipment of new vehicles by sea from the seaports of Cuxhaven and Emden in Niedersachsen also grew again to more than 1.8 million vehicles, a rise of 7 % year-on-year. The total amount of goods shipped by sea via the nine seaports in Niedersachsen therefore totalled almost 52 million tonnes (46.4 million tonnes in 2014).
Inke Onnen-Lübben, Managing Director of Seaports of Niedersachsen GmbH, the ports’ marketing company said: “2015 was an extremely good year overall for our seaports, thanks to rises in the volumes of handled goods in both the high value-added general freight sector, as well as in the handling of bulk goods important for supplying industry with raw materials. Thanks to the diverse capabilities of our ports’ group in Niedersachsen, and the successful provision of services to niche markets, we have been able to very satisfactorily maintain our position within a dynamic market affected by ongoing economic and political developments around the world. We are moderately optimistic that we will be able to maintain turnover at this high level in the ongoing year as well.”
To be able to improve our cost efficiency and customer-orientation even further, around Euro 62 million were invested in suprastructure – such as buildings and equipment – in the seaports in Niedersachsen last year by private handling companies and local industrial companies.
The volume of goods handled by each of the nine seaports in Niedersachsen was as follows: The total volume of goods shipped by sea from the seaport of Brake rose by 7 % to 6.72 million tonnes (6.27 million tonnes in 2014). The handling of general freight in Brake, which mainly involves steel and forestry products, as well as windpower components, grew by 6 % to 1.84 million tonnes (1.74 million tonnes in 2014). The seaward handling of cereals and animal feed rose by 9 % to around 3.75 million in 2015 (3.43 million tonnes in 2014). An increase in investments in handling facilities, as well as the optimisaiton of business processes, has been implemented to make the port of Brake fit for the future in a strongly competitive environment. Stable handling volumes are expected in 2016.
Cuxhaven retained its position as an important car shipping port, and enjoyed a growth of 6 % in this segment in 2015 by shipping a total of 414,669 new vehicles (392,389 new vehicles in 2014). Around 2.64 million tonnes of goods were shipped by sea from Cuxhaven in 2015 (2.7 million tonnes in 2014). This decline of 2 % year-on-year is largely attributable to the slight drop in the offshore business – there were much fewer offshore wind projects in the market in 2015 which could be served by Cuxhaven as the base port. The handling of offshore windpower components via Cuxhaven will, however, grow very positively because of the offshore projects currently planned, as well as the relocation of windpower-centric companies to the area.
Emden also achieved a new record in the turnover of new vehicles: 1,406,807 vehicles were shipped by sea in 2015, corresponding to a year-on-year growth of 7 % (1,310,317 new vehicles in 2014). The record is primarily due to the high level of exports heading in the direction of the United Kindom and the North American continent. The handling of general freight at the Ems seaport, including windpower components, project cargos and forestry products, rose by 5 % to 2.64 million tonnes (2.52 million tonnes in 2014). With a total volume of sea freight of around 4.3 million tonnes handled by the port in 2015, the port of Emden suffered a slight decline of 2 % compared to 2014 (4.37 million tonnes in 2014). This is mainly due to the decline in the volumes of solid bulk goods handled by the port (- 28 % / 634,308 tonnes in 2015; 876,320 tonnes in 2015).
The seaport of Nordenham reported a growth of 2 % in the volume of sea freight it handled, to around 2.69 million tonnes of goods (2.64 million tonnes in 2014). This was helped in particular by growing volumes of coal (+ 15 % / 1.47 million tonnes in 2015; 1.27 million tonnes in 2014), ores (+ 9 % / 181,902 tonnes in 2015; 166,302 tonnes in 2014), and mineral oil products (+ 13 % / 272,113 tonnes in 2015; 240,613 tonnes in 2014). The volume of marine cables for the offshore windpower industry handled by the port of Nordenham grew again to 8,000 tonnes in 2015, a rise of 14 % / 7,000 tonnes compared to 2014).
The volume of sea freight handled by the port of Stade in 2015 grew by 5 % to a total of 5.85 million tonnes (5.58 million tonnes in 2014). This positive development was primarily attributable to a boost in the handling of dry as well as liquid bulk goods: the handling of chemical products rose by 5 % to 2.68 million tonnes (2.57 million tonnes in 2014). In addition, the volume of solid bulk goods handled by the port of Stade, e.g. bauxite, aluminium oxide and aluminium hydroxide, as well as construction materials, rose by 5 % to 3.16 million tonnes (3.0 million tonnes in 2014). Business in the port of Stade is expected to remain stable in the ongoing year.
The total volume of goods handled in Wilhelmshaven rose by 20 % to around 29 million tonnes in 2015 (24.2 million tonnes in 2014). This growth is attributable to the handling of solid and liquid bulk goods, as well as general freight. For instance, the volumes of crude oil handled rose by 6 % from 18.59 million tonnes in 2014 to around 19.66 million tonnes in 2015. The amount of coal handled by the port rose by 17 % to 3.64 million tonnes (3.11 million tonnes in 2014). 4.32 million tonnes of general freight were handled in total (520,307 tonnes in 2014). This is primarily attributable to the very significant growth in the number of containers handled by the port: the Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven handled 426,751 TEU in total last year (67,076 TEU in 2014).
The volume of sea freight handled by the port of Leer in 2015 rose to 38,524 tonnes, and was thus very much higher than the results in 2014 (24,291 tonnes). The volume of goods shipped on inland waterways via the port was 307,441 tonnes in 2015. The main goods handled by the port of Leer are agricultural products, mineral oil products and construction materials.
82,150 tonnes of sea-going goods were handled in the port of Oldenburg (96,164 tonnes in 2014). The volume of goods handled for combined sea and inland waterways transport was around 1.0 million tonnes (1.13 million tonnes in 2014). Large volumes of construction materials involving a major regional construction project handled via the port of Oldenburg had a one-off effect on the statistics in 2014, which was not repeated in 2015. The increased transport of goods by truck because of the low diesel price is another reason why the volume of goods handled by the port of Oldenburg declined overall. Growing volumes of goods are expected to be handled by Oldenburg in the medium term thanks to the continuing investment in infrastructure and suprastructure, e.g. a new turnaround loop in the port funded by the public sector, as well as the private port industry sector.
The volume of sea freight handled by the port of Papenburg in 2015 rose by 19 % to 586,827 tonnes (491,813 tonnes in 2014). This growth is due to a rise in the handling of solid bulk goods a well as general freight. The handling of goods for combined sea and inland waterway transport was 699,484 tonnes (617,189 tonnes in 2014).
Image credit: JadeWeserPort