Operational situation in Port of Hamburg and Bremerhaven – Update


We would like to provide you with an update on the operational situation in North German seaports of which we informed you (Newsletters 59/2022 and 60/2022) last week.

Unfortunately, there have been further delays in delivering containers to CTA terminal over the past weekend due to capacity constraints at the terminal. Currently, it is necessary to count with a delay in delivery to CTA, which can reach up to 4-5 days compared to the original plan.

In view of these delays and the availability of slots at CTA terminal, we are forced to respond by adjusting the timetables for the upcoming period of “Pfingsten” holiday. Our colleagues from the individual customer service departments will inform you about the specific impacts on departures to the given terminals.
The following restrictions at HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) are still in force:

  • The acceptance of export shipments is restricted by applying the “7-day acceptance window” rule prior to the vessel´s estimated time of sailing even in those cases where the rule is correctly applied when dispatching the train to Hamburg, but it comes to further vessel delays while the train is en route to Hamburg. As a result, the container arrives to CTA earlier than 7 days and the terminal refuses to accept it because it has arrived too early.
    • We are intensively negotiating with the port for a so-called “transitional period”. The transit time by rail to Hamburg takes approximately 1-2 days, and if any changes in vessel ETAs occur in the meantime, it cannot be a reason to reject shipments.
  • The terminal still works on the condition that the number of containers delivered to CTA must be aligned with the number of containers picked up from the terminal, as well as with the so-called annual delivery plan. Unfortunately, it is not possible to comply with this rule these days, because CTA terminal is currently mainly export-oriented and we collect import shipments mainly from other terminals in Hamburg.
    • This condition slows down the circulation of wagon sets within the entire Port of Hamburg, and post-export sets destined for import arrive late for import shipments.

We would like to ask you to take into account the above-mentioned operational problems, especially in case of planning shipments of “sensitive nature” such as reefers and others.

At the other terminals in the Port of Hamburg, transport is stabilized and the handling of containers and trains is ongoing with regard to the current situation in the port.

The same rule of “7-day acceptance window” has been introduced in the Port of Bremerhaven recently. Our departments work with this regulation and the next few days and upcoming holidays will show us the further development of the situation in relation to the new rule.

In case of a specific inquiry about your shipments, we are happy to be at your disposal at the relevant customer service departments.






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