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The container terminals on Hamburg’s River Elbe lost more ground to their Rotterdam and Antwerp rivals in the first nine months of the year.

Throughput at Hamburg declined 2.4%, compared with the same period of the previous year, to 6.6m teu. This contrasts with the solid growth seen at its North European hub competitors, Rotterdam and Antwerp, of 5.7% and 6.8% respectively.

Hobbled by draught restrictions, Hamburg is handling a smaller share of transhipment cargo, in what it described as “a tough competitive field”. The port is pinning its future growth hopes on the deepening and widening of the river which has now commenced after many years of legal delay.

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