German Food Bridge, HHLA and Unilever ship food to Odessa

German Food Bridge, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and Unilever are bringing urgently needed food to Ukraine for those affected by the war. On Wednesday, a container was loaded in Hamburg onto a train bound for Odessa. German Food Bridge is coordinating the aid delivery while Unilever is providing the food and HHLA is organising the transport through its own European transport network.

On 7 December 2022, the German Food Bridge container left HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg by a train headed for Ukraine. The container carries urgently needed food that was provided by Unilever. Delivery will be made to the public organisation in Ukraine that is in charge of the coordination of humanitarian aid in Odessa.

André Pilling, Head of German Food Bridge and Chairman of the German-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (AHK), emphasises: “Ukraine needs our continued support in the face of the onset of winter, the damage done to energy infrastructure in large parts of the country and the situation in the liberated areas, where the food supply can no longer be guaranteed due to destroyed supply chains. We are very grateful for all the companies’ donations, which we bring to the affected regions. In particular, the support from Hamburg – on the part of HHLA’s logistics, the “Hamburg helps Odessa” initiative, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (which hosts us), and the city’s open support of the aid measures – shows that, in difficult times, people can also work together quickly and pragmatically to help people in need.”

Philip Sweens, Managing Director of HHLA International GmbH, who is also in charge of the HHLA Container Terminal Odessa, explains: “HHLA is particularly connected to the Odessa region through its Ukrainian employees and their families. Now, in the cold season, it is even more important to provide humanitarian aid and to support the people affected by the war. We are therefore pooling our expertise with German Food Bridge and Unilever to supply the people in Odessa with the food and other supplies that they urgently need.”

Stefan Pfeifer, Head of Unilever Germany, says: “With the start of the winter, hardship is increasing. The people in Ukraine need our help more urgently than ever. We are delighted to have found the right partner in German Food Bridge, in cooperation with HHLA. Together we can provide non-bureaucratic assistance. We are also ensuring that the support gets to where it is needed most. This rail container carrying urgently needed food marks the beginning of a long-term partnership which will contribute to local humanitarian aid.”

German Food Bridge was established with the goal of bringing food to the places in Ukraine where it is most urgently needed, in a quick and targeted way. Since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, German Food Bridge has brought more than 450 trucks containing food to Ukraine. The German-Ukrainian team of the unit of the Federal Ministry of Food that coordinates food industry aid for Ukraine has its headquarters in the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. So far, 87 companies from the German food industry have joined the initiative. The food they provide is brought to the affected regions in the country by government agencies and 56 NGOs active in Ukraine.

HHLA has operated a container terminal in Odessa since 2001. However, seaborne handling at the terminal had to be halted in the wake of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Last week, the company already shipped three containers with medical aid to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. HHLA organises the transport of the aid supplies through its own European network with the assistance of its numerous subsidiaries such as Container Terminal Altenwerder, rail subsidiary Metrans, freight forwarder CTD and container logistics expert HCCR. The aid transport is supported on-site by HHLA Container Terminal Odessa and the Ukrainian Intermodal Company (UIC). HHLA will also make its transport network available for additional aid deliveries to the Odessa region.

Unilever has been working with partners around the world since the beginning of the war in Ukraine to donate food, personal care and hygiene products to the affected regions. The company also launched a donation programme for employees, with Unilever matching each contribution by a staff member.

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Nele Martensen / HHLA

Representatives of the German Food Bridge, HHLA, Unilever, BMEL (Federal ministry) and Consulate of Ukraine in Hamburg at HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder.

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About German Food Bridge

German Food Bridge was established with the goal of bringing food to the places in Ukraine where it is most urgently needed, in a quick and targeted way. This is intended to help mitigate the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the war. The organisation, which is embedded in the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s (BMEL) bilateral cooperation project, “Agritrade Ukraine”, coordinates official requests from Ukraine as well as company donations and initiatives by the German food industry.


About HHLA

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is one of Europe’s leading logistics companies. With a tight network of seaport terminals in Hamburg, Odessa, Tallinn and Trieste, excellent hinterland connections and well-connected intermodal hubs in Central and Eastern Europe, HHLA represents a logistics and digital hub along the transport flows of the future. Its business model is based on innovative technologies and is committed to sustainability. 


About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. We have 148,000 employees. We have around 400 brands found in homes all over the world – including iconic global brands like Dove, Lifebuoy, Knorr, Magnum, OMO and Surf; and other brands such as Love Beauty & Planet, Hourglass, Seventh Generation and The Vegetarian Butcher. www.unilever.co.uk