After much debate between lobbyists and environmental groups dredging has finally got underway this week along the river Elbe linking to Germany’s largest port, Hamburg. While the north German city can already handle the largest boxships afloat, the dredging will make navigation easier. In recent years there have been some groundings along the river.
The hopper dredger Scheldt River is now deepening and widening the river.
“This is very good news for our trading and shipping customers in the German and European hinterland and all our worldwide business partners,” said Axel Mattern, joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.
“We have waited a long time for today and are now hoping for rapid implementation,” added Ingo Egloff, his executive board colleague.
Irrespective of the tide, after the fairway adjustment, ocean-going ships will be able to leave Hamburg with a draft of 13.50 m; and using the flood tide,14.50 m will be possible.
Containerships will be able to transport around 1,800 more teu per call once dredging is complete. The Elbe will also be navigable for mega-ships in both directions without the existing restrictions.