Port of Hamburg: Port Regaining Pre-War Trade (1922)
ONE of the most significant features of the present shipping situation In Europe Is the prosperity and the activity visible in the port of Hamburg. After becoming almost a dead port during the war, Hamburg is once again itself, and today is certainly the busiest port in Europe.
The continental editor of the "Liverpool Journal of Commerce.” who has recently examined the port, was struck with its comparative prosperity when considered with the other ports of Europe. Not only are the four large shipbuilding yards working with full staffs, building vessels of all sorts for Germany and other countries, and repairing many British vessels, but the shipping trade in the port is daily expanding, and the quay and warehouse accommodation is being extended to meet the new requirements of increased traffic and cargoes.
Before the war, Hamburg was a German port first of all. Today it is cosmopolitan. The American element Is very predominant in shipping circles, and the German flag is still crowded out by those of foreign nations. Incidentally the Hamburg companies are making some very useful combines with Home of the foreign countries—notably the United States.
Hamburg Is not crippled like so many continental porta by being under the control of the municipality. It is administered by a special port committee of shipping and businessmen, which is known as the Deputation for Handel Schlffahrt and Gewerle. Geographically the port is now in the best of positions, and its prosperity is due to the enterprise of the special port committee.
Although Hamburg is about sixty miles up the River Elbe from the North Sea, the condition of the river is so good that ocean liners can easily use the port. Furthermore, the Elbe is deep enough on the inland side of Hamburg to permit steamers of 1,000 tons to run as far as Prague in Bohemia. This gives Hamburg a big ocean trade and an important river trade from Central Europe. The Kiel Canal allows Hamburg to retain a good share of the Baltic trade.
There are now nearly twenty miles of quays where large ocean-going ships can be accommodated, and the entire extent of the port covers an area of 10,000 acres. The port as one sees it today is only about thirty-live years old. The Segel-hafen dock is 1,51S yards long and 328 yards wide. There are ninety miles of railway line in the docks of the port.
Figures for the last year show a greater number of ships using the port of Hamburg than the two river ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam. In the year 1913 the shipping tonnage In the port totaled 22.000.000 tons. The port officials, in view of the present political situation, are not in a hurry to publish figures, which may show big totals for 1921, but un-official estimates show the traffic for last year to be equal to prewar trade.
Source: Shipping: Marine Transportation, Construction, Equipment and Supplies, New York: Shipping Publishing Co, Volume 15, No. 5, March 10, 1922 P.44