In 2018, the Port of Hamburg handled around 2.6 million TEU or standard containers for the China Trade. In fact, 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.

Overall, 15 liner services link Hamburg with all China’s leading ports. In 2018 exports to China worth 5.3 billion euros were handled through the Port of Hamburg in direct foreign trade between Hamburg and China, as well as imports that were valued at 8.0 billion euros.

In addition, in 2018 the volume of goods transported by ocean-going vessels between Hamburg and China totalled about 24 million tons.

As a digital-innovative hub, HHLA is already very well positioned on maritime routes and the transcontinental Silk Road. We have maintained close business links with Chinese companies for over 35 years. At Container Terminal Tollerort, every week we handle the Chinese shipping company Cosco’s largest containerships. Our rail subsidiary Metrans is extremely active on the new Silk Road. We have also long been contributing towards giving the Silk Road initiative an entrepreneurial identity

stated Thomas Lütje, Marketing Director for Hamburger Hafen- und Logistik AG - HHLA.


The Port of Hamburg’s hub function makes it the central hub for the China Trades, not just for Germany, but for Austria, Poland, Czechia, Russia, Hungary, Slovakia and Switzerland. Along with transport by ship, since 2013 the ‘New Silk Road’ has developed overland as an attractive rail link and alternative to sea/air freight for time-sensitive freight.

As the hub for China cargoes transported by oceangoing vessel, it is only logical that Hamburg should play a key role for rail shipments along the New Silk Road, explained Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

As far as the Silk Road is concerned, expansion of train services and the rail network between the Far East and Western Europe started seven years ago. The ‘Silk Road Economic Girdle’ includes several routes connecting China with Europe and the Southern and SE Asian countries, in addition to six economic corridors, overland.