Container segment

Key figures

in € million


1–6 | 2022


1–6 | 2021









8.4 %







14.7 %

EBITDA margin in %






1.6 pp







26.6 %

EBIT margin in %






2.7 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






- 0.0 %

In the first half of 2022, container throughput at HHLA’s container terminals remained unchanged from last year’s level of 3,368 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 3,369 thousand TEU).

At 3,167 thousand TEU, throughput volume at the three Hamburg container terminals was up 3.1 % on the same period last year (previous year: 3,073 thousand TEU). This positive development was essentially driven by an increase in the Far East shipping region – China in particular. In addition, the acquisition of a feeder service for the Baltic Sea region in the third quarter of 2021 and another two services in the first quarter of 2022 led to strong growth in feeder traffic volumes. This more than offset the collapse in volumes to and from Russia since March 2022 as a result of the sanctions imposed by the EU. Feeder services accounted for 20.9 % of seaborne handling in the first six months of 2022, which was slightly higher than in the previous year (previous year: 19.8 %).

Throughput volumes at the international container terminals, however, dropped significantly by 31.9 % to 202 thousand TEU (previous year: 296 thousand TEU). This was due to the significant decline in cargo volumes at the terminal in Odessa after seaborne handling there was suspended by the authorities at the end of February following the Russian invasion. This was partly offset by strong increases in volumes at the TK Estonia container terminal, resulting from the increased use of the terminal as an alternative to the Russian ports, and additional throughput volumes since the first container ship was handled last December by PLT Italy.

Revenue increased significantly year-on-year by 8.4 % to € 438.8 million in the first half of 2022 (previous year: € 404.9 million). The principal reason for this is the strong rise in storage fees at the container terminals in Hamburg, Tallinn and Trieste. The increase in storage fees was due to longer dwell times caused by backlogs in the supply chain. Furthermore, additional revenue from RoRo and bulk cargo handling at PLT Italy had a positive effect.

EBIT costs increased by 5.0 % year-on-year during the reporting period. The additional expenses resulted from a much higher cost of materials as a result of higher electricity consumption and increased fuel prices, and also from extra personnel expenses owing to the very high storage load. Expenses associated with services and consulting also rose strongly, as did the EBIT expenses for the terminal in Trieste as a result of the comprehensive start-up of business operations as compared to the first half of the previous year. This was offset primarily by the interest rate-related partial reversal of restructuring provisions.

Against the backdrop of a temporary increase in average revenue caused by the spike in storage fees, the operating result (EBIT) rose by 26.6 % to € 80.2 million (previous year: € 63.4 million). In addition to a positive effect from the growth in volume from TK Estonia, PLT Italy also made a positive contribution to EBIT growth for the first time after breaking even. The EBIT margin rose by 2.7 percentage points to 18.3 % (previous year: 15.6 %).

HHLA has continued to invest in climate-friendly handling equipment and container terminals in 2022. At the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA), the fleet was expanded with the addition of ten more lower-emission, battery-powered automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The procurement process for nine battery-powered tractor units is currently underway. A field test was conducted to examine the potential for the AGVs’ electricity storage devices to contribute to grid stability, and efforts were initiated to achieve the final expansion stage of the charging infrastructure for the equipment mentioned above. A further eight hybrid transport vehicles were ordered for the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT). These consume significantly less fuel than diesel-powered vehicles. The conversion of the coal shipping port to create additional storage space is to be completed before the end of the year. There are plans to build a hydrogen fuel station on part of the site in future. The Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) continued to drive the expansion of the block storage system and the development of the AGV area, thus also contributing to ongoing efforts to modernise and enhance the efficiency of the terminals.