Despite difficult market conditions, the European terminal operator group EUROGATE increased net operating profit by 13.4% to EUR 73.5 million (previous year: EUR 64.9 million), the company said in its press release. Container handling volumes at the German EUROGATE locations grew faster than the market. In Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg, EUROGATE handled 8.2 million standard containers (TEUs) in 2015 – 1.5% more boxes than in 2014. Taken together, the North Range ports recorded a decline of 1.6% in the reference period. At 14.5 million TEUs, the total volume of containers handled across the European Group was two percent below the previous year’s level, which was in line with the market development: the total handling volume for the German seaports in 2015 also declined by 2%. EUROGATE Group revenue was up by 4.5% and stood at EUR 591.3 million (previous year: EUR 566 million). Operating profit (EBIT) grew by 19% to EUR 91.1 million (previous year: EUR 76.5 million).
Container ship MSC Oliver at Container terminal in Bremerhaven, Germany
The number of container ships >10,000 TEUs calling at the German EUROGATE container terminals in Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg in 2015 grew by almost 35% overall to 618 ports of call. One third of these ships (201 in total) already has a transport capacity of >18,000 TEUs. Some 19% of these ships docked at Wilhelmshaven. Germany’s only deep-water container terminal, EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven, benefited from the trend towards ever larger vessels and increased its handling figure to 426,751 TEUs, which was 536.2% higher than in the previous year (67,076 TEUs). Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven together showed an increase in revenue of 1.9% to 5.9 million TEUs (previous year: 5.8 million TEUs) and were thus slightly above the market trend. EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg recorded a moderate increase of 0.5 % to 2.3 million TEUs.
Container terminal Hamburg
The Italian container terminals showed a positive development overall, although the decline in container handling volumes at the MCT Medcenter Container Terminal in Gioia Tauro, Calabria, clouded the overall balance slightly. The Italian container terminals handled 4.8 million TEUs in 2015, which was 5.5% down on 2014 (previous year: 5.1 million TEUs). The largest container terminal in the CONTSHIP ITALIA Group completed a restructuring phase in late summer 2015, as a result of which the handling volume at the end of 2015 was still negative. With a container throughput of 2.5 million TEUs, the Gioia Tauro terminal was 14.7% below the previous year’s level (2.9 million TEUs). Following the successful restructuring, a more positive trend is expected for 2016.
The trend towards the deployment of mega container carriers is also affecting the Mediterranean trade lanes. The Mediterranean terminals, too, are being called at by ever larger container vessels. For this reason, LSCT La Spezia Container Terminal, Liguria, which increased its container throughput in 2015 by 7.6% from 1.1 million TEUs to 1.2 million TEUs, invested in and last year commissioned two container gantries with jibs capable of handling ships with a beam of 23 rows on deck. LSCT La Spezia Container Terminal is the first and to date only terminal in northern and central Italy to operate container gantries of this size.