World News – September 2019



Hamburg and China have been trading partners by since the 18th century. Hamburg has nurtured a city & port partnership with Shanghai since 1986. Hamburg opened its Liaison Office – HLO – in Shanghai in 1995. This represents Hamburg interests in China and markets the city as a destination for visitors. Both the HLO in Shanghai and the Port Representative Office in Hong Kong promote the city on the spot with numerous events, showcasing at trade fairs, exchanging expertise and experience, along with cultivating continuous contacts to promote the whole array of services of the Port of Hamburg and the logistics competence of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.

China is now the Port of Hamburg’s largest trading partner. The Hanseatic City is seen as China’s Gateway to Europe for Chinese products, and at the same time as the German export trade’s gateway to the Far East. In 2018 alone, Germany’s largest seaport handled around 2.6 million TEU or standard containers for the China Trade. Almost one in three of all containers crossing the quay walls in the Port of Hamburg have the Middle Kingdom as their origin or destination. A total of 15 liner services link Hamburg with all China’s leading ports. In 2018 exports to China worth 5.3 billion euros were handled via the Port of Hamburg in direct foreign trade between Hamburg and China, along with imports valued at 8.0 billion euros. In 2018 the volume of goods transported by ocean-going vessels between Hamburg and China totalled around 24 million tons.

Hamburg – European hub for the China trades


Before summer, the European Commission kicked off the review of the TEN-T Regulation 1315/2013 with a public consultation. The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) submitted its proposals for the review.

“European ports remain strong supporters of the 2013 Europe’s Transport Infrastructure Policy, which literally put the seaports on the TEN-T map. It is now time to adapt the framework to the new market realities, new challenges and new needs. Looking in a more comprehensive way at what ports can do, not only for transport, but also in terms of decarbonisation of society and digitalisation of supply chains and having that mirrored in the guidelines, is one of the to-do’s in this review. Nowadays ports are much more than a component of maritime transport, they have a pivotal role between the different modes and the different networks”, says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

For European ports, the review must be used, above all, as an opportunity to update the TEN-T network in relation to new market realities (such as volume growth, scale increases); new societal challenges (climate, air pollution, noise, increasing urbanisation); new needs (digitalisation, automation, e-commerce); and as a consequence, the changing role of European ports.

ESPO believes that seaports are more than a “component of maritime transport infrastructure”. The new TEN-T guidelines should be adapted to recognise the role many seaports are playing as strategic multimodal nodes, nodes of energy and digital hubs on top of their classical role as components of maritime transport infrastructure. Their unique role makes each European port a strategic partner in responding to today’s main challenges of decarbonisation and digitalisation.
Moreover, over the last years, European ports have been increasingly involved in a process of cooperation, clustering and merging, both bottom-up and top-down. The new TEN-T policy should take into account and encourage these developments in the port sector. European ports believe that port clusters have to be clearly defined in the framework of the future TEN-T policy. While the clustering should not change the initial identification of “core” and “comprehensive” ports, individual projects should be assessed in terms of their relevance for the cluster and thus the network as such.

ESPO stresses the importance of Motorways of the Sea (MoS) as an integral and important part of the TEN-T network and believes that the maritime dimension should be considered equally important as the land-based TEN-T corridors. In order to use the full potential of the network’s maritime links, short sea shipping should be strongly facilitated as an equally important transport mode for intra-European transport next to the other transport modes. In that regard, MoS requirements should be reviewed and the maritime links between two countries should be fully acknowledged and prioritised as cross-border.
Finally, ESPO points out that the deadlines for realising the core and comprehensive TEN-T network can only be met with the full support of Member States, and if the engagement of the Union and its Member States comes with a corresponding budget. ESPO’s study on the investment needs of European ports has revealed that the ports’ investment needs amount to 48 billion EUR over the next ten years. In the period 2014-2017, port managing bodies have only been able to obtain 4% of the CEF transport budget.

The Public Consultation on the review will be followed by an evaluation study and other targeted consultations. The Commission proposal for a revision is planned for the first semester of 2021.
Read the full position here.

ESPO: The TEN-T review must recognise the new role of ports


Russia will continue to implement plans for the development of its Far East to continue its growth and contribute to enhancing trust and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, September 5.
“We are proud that the Far East has become today one of the symbols of the openness of the whole country, innovation and determination in removing all kinds of barriers for business and just human communication,” Putin said at a plenary session at the fifth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

Russia has managed to create favorable conditions for the development of the Far East by investing considerable resources in the comprehensive modernization of the region and improvement of the business climate over the past decade and a half, he said.

As a result, the Far East has entered a phase of faster growth, with its industrial production growth amounting to 23 percent over the past five years, three times higher than in the whole country, he said.
In particular, 20 advanced development territories and the free port of Vladivostok have been formed, preferential tax regimes and support measures are being introduced and numerous jobs created, he said.

Read more on Xinhua.

Putin: Russian Far East to help promote open cooperation in Asia-Pacific region