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duisport grows during the crisis! Container handling surpasses previous year’s level. 2 percent growth in the crisis year.

The container traffic of Duisburger Hafen AG (duisport) was slightly higher than during the previous year. “This is a gratifying but by no means a foregone conclusion in view of the current situation,” emphasizes duisport CEO Erich Staake. “What will be decisive is that we can confirm this positive development up to the end of the fiscal year. I am confident that we will be able to do so.”

Coronavirus firmly under control with flexible protective measures. New destinations on offer.
At the end of the first half of the year, duisport was still slightly below the figures for the previous year. Declines in the first half of the year were offset thanks to the dynamic developments in the third quarter. duisport's trade in goods is in the so-called TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) range, now two percent above the previous year’s figure. This increase could not have been expected considering the pandemic.

China traffic as growth driver.
Operations in the Port of Duisburg are running at 100 percent despite the coronavirus crisis. The company was superbly prepared for the increased volume of goods transported by rail. With additionally mobilized storage space and rapid solutions for onward transport, Europe’s most important logistics hub continues to function even in times of crisis. At the same time, it took advantage of emerging market opportunities: As early as April, the rail service was expanded to include further Chinese partner destinations. Long-term cooperation with Chinese partners provided a boost in attractiveness. Never before have there been more freight trains between duisport and Chinese destinations than in the current year. Duisburg’s reputation as the most important European destination for Chinese rail freight traffic was further strengthened, even in these times of pandemic. In the meantime, about one third of the total volume of trade by freight train between Europe and China passes through the Duisburg logistics hub. “The volume of traffic via the New Silk Road has almost doubled compared with the previous year and already accounts for almost eight percent of the total container turnover of the duisport Group,” says Erich Staake. “Maritime goods traffic with China also shows encouraging growth rates.”

Total cargo handling in the current year will be some four to five percent below the previous year’s figure due to the sharp decline in coal traffic and a weak steel business.

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duisport records 50 trains per week: Chinese transports reach historic level in April.

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  • Further growth with more destinations in the China network.

In the last month, rail-based merchandise traffic with China reached a new record. Normally, between 35 and 40 trains travel between Duisburg and various destinations in China every week. This number had declined in February and March. But since the lock-down was lifted in some provinces, China’s economy has quickly started up again. Last month, the Port of Duisburg registered an increase to approximately 50 trains a week.

New destinations, more trains: growth of the duisport network triggers new demand.

“We are definitely noticing the catch-up effects resulting from the pandemic in the China business. But at the same time we’ve continued to work intensively on our network and in April we extended our train services to include further Chinese destinations. Our strategic cooperation with all of the relevant logistics hubs in China make rail transportation even more attractive for our customers. Currently, Duisburg is already one of the preferred destinations for Chinese rail freight transport in Europe. As a high-performance logistics hub, we also offer the market advantage of rapid onward transport to other destinations such as the sea ports on the European coasts.

It is particularly in our crisis situation that rail freight becomes an important alternative to ocean freight,” says duisport Chief Executive Officer Erich Staake.

The Port of Duisburg is considered a pioneer for rail freight between Europe and Asia. The first regular train from the Chinese mega city Chongqing to Duisburg already started in 2011. In 2014, the Yuxinou train became the first direct permanent rail connection between Germany and China. Since then, the number of freight trains traveling regularly between the People’s Republic and Duisburg has steadily increased: At this time, 30 percent of the entire rail-based trade between Europe and China runs through the Duisburg logistics hub. And of the 1,400 trains out of Chongqing that are destined for Europe, around 80 percent were handled in the Port of Duisburg last year – a number that continues to increase.

“I have to compliment my team: Our operations are running at 100 percent despite the corona crisis. We were well prepared for the increased volume of goods transported by rail. We are also holding available additional storage space and customized solutions for onward transport. Thanks to our committed staff, our network also functions in times of crisis,” says Erich Staake.


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