Annual Report 2022

Use of resources and circular economy

Not audited


HHLA’s efforts to conserve resources is demonstrated by its waste management system and the use of recycled building materials for the maintenance of its terminal areas. With regard to waste management, HHLA reduces refuse and separates rubbish for recycling wherever possible so that reusable waste can be fed back into the resource cycle. Due to the fluctuation in throughput volumes at the various HHLA terminals, the quantities of each waste type can vary widely from one year to the next.

The total amount of waste produced at the German sites increased by 17.5 % to 8,635 tonnes in the reporting period (previous year: 7,350 tonnes). This increase was primarily due to a significant rise in the volume of fruit waste.

Non-hazardous waste

Fruit waste, which accounts for the largest percentage of waste at 39 %, increased by 74.6 % to 3,369 tonnes in the 2022 financial year (previous year: 1,929 tonnes). This type of waste includes fruit – such as bananas or pineapple – no longer suitable for consumption or processing. HHLA has no influence on the amount of such waste, as the fruit is already unfit for sale when it arrives in Hamburg and has to be disposed of. Most of this waste, 2,804 tonnes (previous year: 1,451 tonnes), was used by an external biogas plant in order to generate electricity. 538,002 kWh of electricity were produced without CO2 in this way during the reporting period.

Mixed metals were the second-largest type of waste in the reporting year. Their volume fell by 21 % to 734 tonnes (previous year: 954 tonnes). The category includes items such as steel cables from container gantry cranes or yard cranes that are no longer fit for use. This type of waste is fully recycled.

Waste volume

in thousand tonnes

Development in the volume of waste (line chart)

As the fourth-largest type of waste, packaging made from paper, cardboard and mixed paper decreased slightly in the reporting year by 2.2 % to 527 tonnes (previous year: 516 tonnes). Commercial waste for pretreatment and mixed packaging was the fifth-largest type of waste. In 2022, the volumes fell by 16.9 % to 500 tonnes (previous year: 601 tonnes).

Hazardous waste

The largest waste type by volume classified as hazardous was sludge from oil/water separators. This figure decreased by 0.2 % to 557 tonnes (previous year: 559 tonnes). This type of waste primarily results from the cleaning of straddle carriers and other large equipment with pressure washers and is the third-largest waste category overall. The waste type comprising glass, plastic and wood with hazardous substances, which is produced during rail construction work at the port terminals, for example, increased by 140.3 % to 469 tonnes (previous year: 195 tonnes). This type of waste represents the sixth-largest waste category overall.


After energy – and excluding investments in equipment and machinery – construction materials are the largest direct material input at HHLA. Recycled building materials are also used to maintain existing terminal areas and to prepare other areas for different purposes. The volume of recycled building materials used rose year-on-year by 73.5 % to 37,547 tonnes (previous year: 21,646 tonnes). This increase was due to the preparation and construction of shore-side power stations and the renovation of rail preliminary queue areas at Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) in the reporting year. These construction activities also account for the largest share of recycled building materials: electric furnace slag, accounting for 42.9 % or 16,118 tonnes (previous year: 676 tonnes).

The use of slag from waste incineration plants that was bonded with cement accounted for the second-largest share, at 26.0 % or 9,763 tonnes. This was used to expand the storage crane blocks at CTB. With a share of 23.6 % and a material input of 8,850 tonnes, asphalt recycling was primarily used for resurfacing at CTA, CTB and CTT as well as for the renovation of block storage facilities at CTA. In addition, a total of 2,816 tonnes (7.5 %) of pure slag from waste incineration plants was used for the renovation of block storage facilities at CTB. The use of recycled building materials minimises the consumption of resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The use of retreaded tyres for container handling equipment and container chassis, or the on-site cleaning and reuse of used oils also improve the utilisation of resources. These methods are utilised in various areas.

Block storage
Automated block storage is used at the HHLA Container Terminals Altenwerder and Burchardkai to stack containers in a compact and efficient manner. Containers are stacked in several storage blocks. Rail-mounted gantry cranes are used to transport and stow the boxes.
Container gantry crane
A crane system used to load and discharge container ships. As ships are becoming larger and larger, the latest container gantry cranes have much higher, longer jibs to match.
Payments for investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and intangible assets.
Portal crane (also called a rail gantry crane or storage crane)
Crane units spanning their working area like a gantry, often operating on rails. Also called a storage crane when used at a block storage facility, or a rail gantry crane when used to handle rail cargo.
Straddle carrier (also called a van carrier or VC)
A vehicle used to transport containers at the terminals. The driver manoeuvres their straddle carrier into position above a container and lifts it up. The vehicles can stack containers up to four high.
In maritime logistics, a terminal is a facility where freight transported by various modes of transport is handled.

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