Container Segment

Key Figures

in € million


1–3 | 2016


1–3 | 2015









- 6.0 %







- 10.1 %

EBITDA margin in %






- 1.4 pp







- 14.2 %

EBIT margin in %






- 1.6 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






- 7.7 %

A total of 1,612 thousand standard containers (TEU) were handled at the HHLA container terminals in the first quarter of 2016. This was a decline of 7.7 % on the previous year (1,747 thousand TEU). While container throughput at the Container Terminal Odessa rose by 4.8 % to 67 thousand TEU (previous year: 64 thousand TEU), volumes at the three Hamburg container terminals were down 8.2 % on the previous year at 1,545 thousand TEU (previous year: 1,683 thousand TEU). This was primarily due to the year-on-year fall of 11.2 % in feeder traffic with the Baltic Sea ports. The throughput volumes handled by hinterland modes of transport also decreased year on year as a result of the ongoing weakness of volumes on the Asian trades (Far East–Northern Europe). However, throughput volumes were up 5.1 % on the fourth quarter of 2015. Despite further weakness in Russian trades, there was a return to growth in feeder traffic compared with the fourth quarter of 2015 (+ 6.8 %) The feeder ratio of 22.6 % was up on the fourth quarter of 2015 (Q4/2015: 22.2 %).

The decline in volumes led to a fall in revenue, which was down 6.0 % on the first quarter of 2015 at € 169.2 million (previous year: € 180.0 million). However, the slight reduction in the proportion of lower-margin feeder traffic and a moderate increase in handling rates led to higher average revenue per container handled at the quayside. Consequently, average revenue rose by 1.9 % compared to the same period last year.

The segment’s EBIT costs could not be reduced in proportion to lower seaborne throughput and were only 4.1 % below the prior-year figure due to the high proportion of fixed costs in the container business. Personnel expenses were a key driver of this trend and could only be adjusted to falling volumes to a limited extent due in part to the peak loads caused by a further rise in the number of mega-ship calls. All in all, these factors led to a 14.2 % decrease in the operating result (EBIT) to € 27.9 million (previous year: € 32.6 million). The EBIT margin fell correspondingly to 16.5 % (previous year: 18.1 %).