Hinterland Traffic of the Port of Hamburg ? Keeping the Gateway Open

Hinterland Traffic of the Port of Hamburg ? Keeping the Gateway Open


P Gaffron, J Benecke, H Flämig, TUHH - Hamburg University of Technology, DE


Growing freight turnover in the port of Hamburg leads to increasing pressure on its hinterland connections. The project looks at the exact structure of these cargo flows and the options for solving current and future bottlenecks.


The predictions for the increase in freight traffic in Europe point towards growing impacts and bottlenecks on the road network. Alleviating these symptoms of economic activity while at the same time supporting sustainable economic systems requires ? as is the case with human mobility in general ? well thought out measures of infrastructure adaptation, traffic management and steps towards modal shift.

These more global issues are encapsulated in the situation in and around the Port of Hamburg, where a steady and considerable growth rate in freight turn-over in the past is forecast to continue. Cargo handling is expected to increase from 114. million t in 2004 to 221.6 million t in 2015 with a parallel growth in container traffic from 7.0 million TEU to 18.1 million TEU in the same time span. This, however, is coupled with transport infrastructure both in the port and in its hinterland that is in many places reaching the limits of its capacity.

However, there is currently too little data that could firstly help to accurately describe the current situation and secondly enable predictions on which the key actors (local planning departments, port operators etc.) can base their planning. A study carried out as part of the INTERREG III B Project ?Northern Maritime Corridor ? Motorways of the Northern Seas (NMC II)? is aiming to change this. It is targeting enterprises and organisations, which generate freight traffic in and around the port with the aim of mapping not just the current flows of vehicles and vessels on the various transport routes (which can be and are regularly counted) but also showing their origins and destinations as well as the structure of their cargo (e.g. containers, palettes, bulk freight etc.). This latter information is currently not available and is required to enable more accurate judgement of the actual characteristics and magnitude of the problems currently experienced in the transport system and to thus make it possible to design more efficient solutions ? especially when considering future traffic scenarios linked to the current forecasts for growth in turnover. Such solutions can include changing the capacity of current infrastructures as well services that encourage and/or enable modal shift from the road. Furthermore they might include administrative, organisational and information approaches, that make the use of existing infrastructure more efficient and influence the modal choice of freight transport actors.

The paper will present the results of the study as well as the first conclusions arising from the point of view of the public and port administrations.

The NMC II Project includes partners from seven North Sea countries, who work together investigating the potential for Motorways of the Seas in the Northern Maritime Corridor. This includes the issues of hinterland traffic in the participating ports and the potential to locally focus freight competencies in poly-centric port structures to enhance local strengths and thus consolidate the use of resources to the economic and environmental benefit of all ports concerned. More information can be found on


Association for European Transport