A court in Leipzig will make a decision today that could threaten the very future of the great Hanseatic port city of Hamburg. Port authorities have been pushing to get the river Elbe, which leads to the city’s terminals, dredged to make way for ever bigger vessels calls.
Germany’s Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig will rule later today on a “fairway upgrade in the Lower and Outer Elbe,” which would see the river deepened by one metre – a move bitterly opposed by environmentalists. The city’s port mandarins have been pushing for this dredging for the last decade.
The grounding a year ago of the 19,000 teu CSCL Indian Ocean on the banks of the river served as yet another reminder of Hamburg’s limitations to service all types of ships in today’s supersized vessel era.