Annual Report 2023

Intermodal segment

Key figures

in € million













4.2 %







- 13.3 %

EBITDA margin in %






- 4.1 pp







- 23.6 %

EBIT margin in %






- 4.3 pp

Container transport in thousand TEU






- 5.4 %

In the highly competitive market for container traffic in the hinterland of major seaports, HHLA’s transport companies recorded a significant decrease in volumes in 2023. Container transport decreased in total by 5.4 % to 1,602 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 1,694 thousand TEU).

Container transport

in thousand TEU

Developments in container transport (bar chart)

Rail transport fell year-on-year by 3.1 % to 1,365 thousand TEU (previous year: 1,409 thousand TEU). All the main routes were affected by the decrease, in particular Polish traffic. There was a decrease in road transport of 16.9 % to 226 thousand TEU (previous year: 285 thousand TEU). In particular, this was due to the continued downward trend of transport in the Hamburg region.

With a year-on-year increase of 4.2 % to € 620.5 million (previous year: € 595.4 million), the development of revenue contrasted sharply with that of transport volumes. This was due to the increased level of transport revenue already reached in the previous year, when it had been adapted to increased costs for the purchase of services, and in particular energy. The increase in rail's share of HHLA’s total intermodal transport volume from 83.2 % to 85.2 % also had a positive effect on revenue.

The operating result (EBIT) amounted to € 72.9 million in the reporting period (previous year: € 95.3 million), representing a decrease of 23.6 %. The EBIT margin fell by 4.3 percentage points to 11.7 % (previous year: 16.0 %). The main reason for the downward EBIT trend was the decrease in transport volumes. In addition to increased union wage rates, the expansion of operations in rail transport also had an adverse effect.

HHLA continued to invest as needed in the expansion of its intermodal network in the past financial year. The decrease in route prices for German rail freight applied in mid-2018 is bolstering the development of the intermodal service portfolio. HHLA’s rail subsidiary METRANS put ten new multi-system locomotives into operation during 2023. It now has approximately 140 shunters and locomotives, as well as a fleet of almost 3,900 container wagons. The network consists of 20 terminals in the hinterland, of which seven function as hub terminals. Group overview/business activities

Earnings before interest and taxes.
A port’s catchment area.
Hub terminal (Hinterland)
A terminal which bundles and distributes consignments as hand­ling hub. HHLA’s rail companies operate hub terminals like this in Ceska Trebova, Budapest, Dunajska Streda, Poznan and Prague.
Intermodal/Intermodal systems
Transportation via several modes of transport (water, rail, road) combining the specific advantages of the respective carriers.
Revenue from sales or lettings and from services rendered, less sales deductions and VAT.
Standard container
A TEU is a 20-foot standard container, used as a unit for measuring container volumes. A 20-foot standard container is 6.06 metres long, 2.44 metres wide and 2.59 metres high.
TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit)
A TEU is a 20-foot standard container, used as a unit for measuring container volumes. A 20-foot standard container is 6.06 metres long, 2.44 metres wide and 2.59 metres high.
In maritime logistics, a terminal is a facility where freight transported by various modes of transport is handled.

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