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Just the news that shipping, port and freight interests in Hamburg did not want to hear – only an outright rejection of the plans would have been worse. The route between Germany’s largest port and the deepsea shipping lanes of the North Sea needs to be deepened if Hamburg can reasonably expect to continue as a hub for the largest containerships. Its current limitations have been exposed this year – its restricted draught means that ultra-large container ships have to wait for high tide before they can berth which, along with poor schedule reliability, has led to the port experiencing chronic congestion this year.

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