Container segment

Key figures

in € million


1–6 | 2019


1–6 | 2018









5.6 %







12.7 %

EBITDA margin in %






1.9 pp







5.3 %

EBIT margin in %






0.0 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






3.8 %

During the first half of 2019, the throughput volume at HHLA’s container terminals increased moderately by 3.8 % to 3,770 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 3,631 thousand TEU). The three Hamburg container terminals showed a sideways trend with a marginal year-on-year increase in throughput volume of +0.1 % to 3,476 thousand TEU (previous year: 3,473 thousand TEU). The changes in service structure (addition of several services to North America, disposal of a Far East service) were overall slightly positive. Asian routes were virtually on a par with the previous year. Feeder traffic in the Baltic region continued to develop heterogeneously across the various routes and decreased slightly overall. The proportion of seaborne handling by feeders was therefore down slightly by 0.7 percentage points to 22.9 % (previous year: 23.6 %).

Throughput at the international container terminals in Odessa and Tallinn amounted to 293 thousand TEU in the reporting period (previous year: 158 thousand TEU). However, the prior-year figures are only comparable to a limited extent, as the container terminal in Tallinn was only incorporated into HHLA’s consolidated group as of the second half of 2018.

Due to the increase in volume of 3.8 % combined with an improvement in average revenue in the first six months compared to 2018, revenue increased by 5.6 % to € 401.7 million (previous year: € 380.3 million). The average revenue per container handled at the quayside rose by 1.7 % year-on-year. This was caused by contractual rate adjustments as well as an increase in the rail share.

EBIT costs were influenced by the costs of HHLA TK Estonia, consolidated since the second half of 2018 and thus not included in the prior-year figures. Further increases in personnel costs were also recorded at HHLA sites. In addition to temporary increases in staffing at the Container Terminal Tollerort as a result of the launch of the new N4 terminal software, this was primarily due to the conversion of the company pension scheme. The initial application of IFRS 16 led to a slight improvement. EBIT costs rose overall by 5.7 %.

The operating result (EBIT) increased by € 3.6 million or 5.3 % year-on-year to € 71.8 million (previous year: € 68.2 million). Of this increase, € 5.2 million is attributable to the application of IFRS 16. The EBIT margin remained unchanged at 17.9 %.

HHLA continued to invest in the future viability and environmental sustainability of its sites in the first half of the year, during which the expansion of the container rail terminal at the Container Terminal Burchardkai was completed. With a new total of ten tracks and four rail gantry cranes, the terminal now offers even more capacity for environmentally friendly transportation. The replacement of diesel-powered automatic goods vehicles (AGVs) with battery-powered AGVs at the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) is progressing according to schedule. The certification of the CTA as a “climate-neutral company” by the TÜV certification authority confirms the efficacy of the measures taken.