On the Elbe
Experience the "big ships" close enough to touch! Almost every visitor sees the harbour in Hamburg for the first time from Landungsbrücken or from the Fish Market - but the view is much more extensive (and the feeling more impressive) when you take one of the harbour tours on offer.
The Port of Hamburg is by far the most important port in Germany and one of the leading sea freight reloading points in the world. It is the gateway to markets in northern, central and eastern Europe, a bridge between the continent and overseas as well as one of the most important sea ports for container traffic. Only about 100 km from the sea, the port in the Elbe is also accessible to the largest of the container giants that can stack up to 18 containers side by side. With a handling capacity of over 2,500 TEU (= 20 foot unit with a load capacity of around 20 tonnes) the processing terminals ensure that the container ships can leave the port in less than 24 hours. Over 36 million tonnes of bulk cargo are handled at the Port of Hamburg, from oil to coal to ores, as well as cereals, oilseeds, feed, fertilisers and much more.
The Hanseatic port is one of the leading paper trading centres in Europe, the largest marketplace for pharmaceutical raw materials - and the largest carpet retail and warehouse centre in the world is also located in Hamburg free port, to name but a few superlatives. And bear in mind: Hamburg is the largest import centres for coffee and one of the leading reloading points for spices in the world. Hamburg is the No. 1 port of transit in Europe for raw cocoa. Something else that is remarkable: For many years, the port on the Elbe has also been the main reloading point for tea in Europe, way ahead of Rotterdam. The US, Canada, and even the Brits get their tea from Hamburg!
A special tip:
Experience the container handling live from the Oevelgönne museum harbour. The scenery is quite something under the orange light, particularly in the evening. You can often watch container freighters dock or turn around here – and, in and amongst them, the many barges and ferries...