Corporate strategy

HHLA is one of Europe’s leading port and logistics companies with activities stretching beyond the Port of Hamburg into many parts of Europe. Together with its customers, HHLA develops logistical and digital hubs for the transport flows of the future. As a result, HHLA is paving the way for sustainable growth in its enterprise value.

In 2017, the HHLA Executive Board launched a business development process with the aim of strengthening the company’s future viability and dynamism over the long term. The necessary changes are linked across all segments and underpinned by numerous measures. The defined objectives are pursued consistently.

HHLA’s market environment is changing at an ever-greater pace. HHLA aims to harness this change quickly and successfully and in a determined and focused manner. To this end, HHLA is paying increasing

  • attention to identifying and interpreting relevant trends, in order to derive value-adding initiatives.
  • Flexibility with the aim and benefit of acting and evolving quickly.
  • Efficiency and networking in order to remain ahead of the competition and generate .
  • Search for, and integration of, new ideas.

HHLA draws on its considerable creative power to focus on the development of additional values. This also involves strengthening customer loyalty and its customer base.

HHLA is guided by key milestones as it builds its future viability. We come from Hamburg and are at home in Europe. As a gateway to the future, we offer our customers the best way to transport their goods safely, quickly and efficiently. We are currently sowing the seeds for additional, sustainable and profitable growth in our value creation to safeguard our future enterprise value.

Corporate strategy

Sustainably increasing enterprise value at HHLA

Corporate strategy (graphic)

Four initiatives have been identified to achieve these objectives:

  • Fit for the world of tomorrow: Our core business is being strengthened to be able to enter the world of tomorrow sustainably and profitable. A corresponding programme for the future is being implemented. This programme aims to enhance competitiveness, quality and profitability.
  • Exploiting additional growth areas: HHLA is tapping growth potential along the transport streams of the future, along the logistics value chain and in new, digital business models.
  • Organisation and corporate culture: The company organisation and culture are being aligned with tomorrow’s world. The client is being placed more than ever at the centre of activity.
  • Investments and finance: The company will continue to gear its and operating results towards sustainable, profitable growth. HHLA applies a value-oriented approach to its strategic investments. The most important investment criteria are the growth prospects and anticipated return on capital of the projects.

The development of sustainable and profitable business is an integral component of HHLA. In particular, this includes the development of sustainable transport and logistics solutions that enable climate-friendly and space-saving operations while facilitating the conservation of resources and contributing to the economic result of HHLA.

In the listed Port Logistics subgroup, activities to cement and expand the current market positioning are governed by the following guidelines:

In the Container segment, HHLA aims to be an efficient, highly automated and high-performance port service provider with a strong network and cutting-edge, digital customer solutions. In order to achieve this, the design and operation of HHLA’s container are systematically geared to maximum efficiency of space and manpower, while innovative technologies and processes are used to achieve continuous improvements in quality standards. Another area of focus is the mission to develop HHLA into a green port within a sustainable and emission-free transport chain. HHLA’s container terminals are supposed to collaborate across all terminals wherever possible in order to benefit from each other and continuously boost the efficiency of handling services.

In the Intermodal segment, HHLA strives to be a quality and efficiency leader and aims to leverage this leading position in order to profit from the transport streams of the future. METRANS will play an important role along the hubs and connecting lines of the logistics network, both in Europe and beyond. Thanks to efficient networking between the segment and the other activities of the HHLA Group, HHLA is able to offer its customers a perfectly coordinated range of services. Besides enhancing the scope and range of its services, HHLA also focuses on increasing its vertical integration.

The HHLA service network

HHLA connects its customers with maritime and continental transport streams

The HHLA service network (graphic)

With its Logistics segment, HHLA aims to strengthen Hamburg’s all-purpose port and drive forward its future-oriented diversification. The business prospects of the Frucht- und Kühl-Zentrum, Ulrich Stein and UNIKAI are being further enhanced. HPC is positioning itself as a leading international specialist and strategic consultancy for the maritime industry. The segment’s potential is being harnessed to develop further services in the logistical and digital value chains.

In addition to purely organic growth, HHLA examines opportunities for acquisitions in order to tap new growth areas along the logistical value chain. Potential acquisitions and equity investments focus on port projects and shareholdings in attractive growth markets. HHLA’s interest is based on the economies of scope offered by the existing network and the opportunities it presents to tap additional growth potential along the transport flows of the future. In this way, the company aims to identify and occupy new digital business models.

In its non-listed Real Estate subgroup, HHLA pursues the objective of developing into an integrated, market-viable developer of specialist properties. The corporate unit HHLA Real Estate aims to be Hamburg’s flagship provider of intelligent district management on the basis of a clear strategic alignment and reliable prioritisation. As such, HHLA Real Estate is a much sought-after specialist in its clearly defined areas of expertise.

Value Added

Production value – intermediate inputs (cost of materials, depreciation and amortisation, and other operating expenses); the value added generated is shared between the HHLA Group’s stakeholders, such as employees, shareholders, lenders and the local community.


Payments for investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and intangible assets.


Payments for investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and intangible assets.


A port’s catchment area.


In maritime logistics, a terminal is a facility where freight transported by various modes of transport is handled.

Intermodal/Intermodal Systems

Transportation via several modes of transport (water, rail, road) combining the specific advantages of the respective carriers.