Germany And China’s COSCO Forge Partnership On Hamburg Port Amid Criticism

Germany’s approval of a Chinese firm’s purchase of a minority stake at a container terminal at the Port of Hamburg is expected to boost its role as a crucial logistics hub for the China-Europe trade, well-known market watchers reported on Thursday.

The German government declared on Wednesday that it approved the 24.9% shareholding of COSCO Shipping Ports Ltd at Container Terminal Tollerort, now owned by Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG, a container terminal operator based in Germany.

HHLA had been urging Germany’s government to decide since the HHLA and the CSPL declared the investment agreement in 2021 (September).

Cosco Shipping
COSCO unit’s stake at the Hamburg port terminal to bolster trade with Europe.

CSPL is a business unit of China COSCO Shipping Corp, the country’s greatest shipping major by both fleet size and market share.

HHLA welcomed the approval and mentioned that the investment would make the terminal a preferred handling location for flourishing trade with China, where freight typically flows between Europe and Asia will be concentrated, per its statement issued after the German government’s announcement.

China is Germany’s and the Port of Hamburg’s greatest trading partner, with around 30% of the items handled at the port coming from or going to China. As 1.35 million employments depend on ports in Germany, the HHLA is aware of the vital port of Hamburg port’s role in serving firms and consumers in Germany and Europe, the company said in its statement.

Li Muyuan, executive vice president of the China Container Industry Association in Beijing, said the Port of Hamburg has a significant geographical benefit and fascinating distribution facilities. It is a crucial node for the freight train service of China-Europe Railway Express.

Li said that the port’s well-developed and well-connected railroad network and more than 7,000 supporting businesses such as warehouses, logistics firms, shipping services, and freight forwarders would bolster the long-term job creation, planning, cargo management, and integrated logistics services of the CTT.

CTT is one of the three container terminals of the HHLA based at the Port of Hamburg. It boasts four berths and over ten container gantry cranes. The CSPL’s parent firm, dubbed China COSCO Shipping Corp, has had its mega container ships with a capacity of 20,000 20-foot equivalent units tackled there, per the CSPL.

The terminal’s railway station has five tracks and is linked to the hinterland, indicating that goods can be transferred easily between CTT and other European destinations.

With both HHLA and CSPL saying that they are going to finalize the transaction soon, the tie-up will exclusively support the growth of China and Germany’s trade in the years ahead, stated Lin Meng, Director of Modern Supply Chain Research Institute, associated with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Beijing.

As on 31 March, CSPL was operating and managing 367 berths at nearly 37 ports worldwide, of which 220 were allocated to containers, with a yearly handling capacity of about 122 million TEUs.

References: DW, ChinaDaily

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