Annual Report 2023



  • At-equity earnings

    Proportionate profit after tax attributable to a joint venture or an associated company, reported in the income statement under financial income.

  • Automated guided vehicle (AGV)

    A fully automatic, driverless transport vehicle which carries containers back and forth between the container gantry cranes on the quayside and the block storage yard at the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder.

  • Average operating assets

    Average net non-current assets (intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, investment property) + average net current assets (inventories + trade receivables – trade liabilities).


  • 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.


  • CO2e (CO2 equivalent – carbon dioxide equivalent)

    CO2e equivalent (CO2e) is a unit of measurement for the climate impact of various greenhouse gases. In addition to the dominant greenhouse gas CO2, CO2e includes other gases with a climate impact such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The CO2 and CO2e values are characterised by the energy HHLA's energy sources are almost comparable.

  • ConRo ship

    A vessel which can transport both containers and rolling cargo (see “RoRo”).

  • 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.

  • Cost of capital

    Expenses associated with the use of funds as equity or borrowed capital.


  • DBO (defined benefit obligation)

    Defined benefit pension obligation relating to the pension entitlements of active and former employees, including probable future changes to pensions and salaries, earned and measured as of the reporting date.

  • Dynamic gearing ratio

    Financial debt (pension provisions + non-current and current liabilities to related parties + non-current and current financial liabilities – cash, cash equivalents, short-term deposits and receivables from HGV [cash pooling]) / EBITDA.


  • EBIT

    Earnings before interest and taxes.


    Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

  • EBT

    Earnings before tax.

  • Economy of scale

    A rule of economics which says that higher production quantities go hand in hand with lower unit costs.

  • Equity ratio

    Equity / balance sheet total.

  • EU Taxonomy

    The EU taxonomy is a legally binding classification system that defines which economic activities of a company are considered sustainable. This is linked to specific requirements for the performance of business activities and the calculation methods of various key figures. The aim is to channel more investment into sustainable companies and technologies and thus support the European Union's 2050 climate neutrality target.


  • Feeder/Feeder ship

    Vessels which carry smaller numbers of containers to ports. From Hamburg, feeders are primarily used to transport boxes to the Baltic region.

  • Financial result

    Interest income – interest expenses +/– earnings from companies accounted for using the equity method +/– other financial result.


  • Hinterland

    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.


  • IAS

    International accounting standards.

  • IFRS

    International financial reporting standards.

  • Impairment test

    Assessment of an asset’s value in accordance with IFRS.

  • Intermodal/Intermodal systems

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

  • Investments

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


  • North range

    Northern European coast on which, in a broader geographical sense, all Northern European overseas ports from Le Havre to Hamburg. The four largest ports are Rotterdam, Antwerp-Bruges, Hamburg and Bremerhaven.


  • Operating cash flow

    According to literature on IFRS key figures: EBIT – taxes + depreciation and amortisation – write-backs +/– changes in non-current provisions (excl. interest portion) +/– gain/loss on the disposal of property, plant and equipment + changes in working capital.


  • 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.


  • Revenue

    Revenue from sales or lettings and from services rendered, less sales deductions and VAT.

  • ROCE (return on capital employed before taxes)

    EBIT / Average operating assets.

  • RoRo

    Short for “roll on, roll off”, RoRo is a means of loading cargo which can simply be rolled or driven onto or off a ship. Most rolling cargo consists of cars of trucks, but project cargo is also transported in this way on special trailers.


  • Shuttle train

    A train which travels back and forth on one route with the same arrangement of wagons, eliminating the need for time-consuming shunting. HHLA’s rail subsidiaries operate shuttle trains between the seaports and the hub terminals (hinterland).

  • Spreader

    Weighing several tonnes, the spreader is the part of a container gantry crane or other crane used to grip then lift or lower containers.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • Tandem gantry crane

    A highly efficient container gantry crane capable of unloading or loading two 40-foot containers or four 20-foot containers in a single movement. HHLA uses gantry cranes of this kind at the Container Terminal Burchardkai.

  • Terminal

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

  • 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.

  • Traction

    The action of a locomotive pulling a train.

  • Transport performance

    A performance indicator used for rail traffic, calculated as the product of the volume transported and the distance covered.


  • Ultra large vessel (ULV)

    A mega-ship that is at least 330 metres long and/or 45 metres wide. This type of vessel is increasingly being used on routes between the Far East and Northern Europe in particular.


  • 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.

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