31.05.2018

Fifty years of container shipping at the Port of Hamburg

On 31 May 1968, the first fully containerised ship, the American Lancer, was handled at the Port of Hamburg at the HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai. To mark this occasion, Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of the Executive Board of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), explains: 

"The arrival of the first fully containerised ship 50 years ago opened an important chapter at the Port of Hamburg. Thanks to the foresight of the then Senator for Economic Affairs, Helmuth Kern, the requirements were met in time to ensure Hamburg could profit from the container technology revolutionising the logistics sector. The port became an important hub of world trade. As a service provider for the industrial nation of Germany, the Port of Hamburg has made a decisive contribution to growth and prosperity. Over 150,000 jobs in the region depend on the port and a quarter of all German foreign trade is today processed at the terminals' facilities. Many goods can therefore bear the stamp 'Handled in Hamburg'.

For 50 years, customers have been able to depend on HHLA to reliably handle their containers at the Port of Hamburg. This trust must continue to be justified in the future too by consistently delivering a high-quality service. With the operation of the largely automated Container Terminal Altenwerder, HHLA has set the standard for innovative container handling that is as valid today as it was in 2002. We will continue to see ourselves as a driver of innovation in the future too in order to assert and strengthen the Port of Hamburg's competitiveness in a challenging market environment. We will therefore be investing approximately € 1 billion in terminal facilities, Intermodal activities and our real estate portfolio over the next five years.

Furthermore, digitisation provides us with the opportunity to search for new areas of growth. As a gateway to the future, we always want to offer our customers the best solutions for transporting their cargo securely, quickly and efficiently. Fifty years ago, this aim became the benchmark for pioneering decision-making - something we still greatly value today and will continue to value as we trade in the future."