Container segment

Key figures

in € million


1–3 | 2020


1–3 | 2019









- 2.6 %







- 19.5 %

EBITDA margin in %






- 5.4 pp







- 31.7 %

EBIT margin in %






- 5.6 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






- 3.7 %

During the first three months of 2020, the throughput volume at HHLA’s container terminals decreased by 3.7 % to 1,796 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 1,865 thousand TEU).

At the three Hamburg container terminals, throughput volume was down 4.1 % on the same period last year at 1,652 thousand TEU (previous year: 1,722 thousand TEU). Ship delays resulting from the severe storms over Northern Europe and the first wave of blank sailings resulting from the coronavirus pandemic led to a moderate decrease in cargo volumes from the Far East. Feeder traffic with the Baltic region decreased markedly and could not be offset by growth in the German shipping region. There was a corresponding decline in the proportion of seaborne handling by feeders of 2.6 percentage points to 20.9 % (previous year: 23.5 %). Handling volumes at the international container terminals in Odessa and Tallinn were on a par with the previous year at 144 thousand TEU (previous year: 143 thousand TEU).

Revenue decreased year-on-year by 2.6 % to € 195.6 million in the first quarter of 2020 (previous year: € 200.9 million). This was primarily caused by a decrease in volumes due to the pandemic. The average revenue per container handled at the quayside rose by 1.1 % year-on-year. This resulted from an advantageous modal split with a high proportion of hinterland volumes and a temporary increase in storage fees due to longer dwell times brought about by weather-related delays.

EBIT costs increased by 4.1 % year-on-year during the reporting period. In addition to higher service and energy costs, this was largely due to increased personnel expenses. The latter was mainly a result of rising hinterland volumes, adjustments to the company pension scheme and lower productivity as a result of increased storage capacity utilisation.

Primarily due to falling volumes, the operating result (EBIT) declined by € 12.0 million or 31.7 % year-on-year to € 25.8 million (previous year: € 37.8 million). The EBIT margin decreased by 5.6 percentage points to 13.2 %.

In the first quarter of 2020, HHLA continued to invest in climate-friendly handling equipment. At the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA), further diesel-powered automated guided vehicles (AGVs) were replaced by lower-emission battery-powered AGVs. With the expansion of its block storage system, the Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) contributed to the further modernisation of our terminals. The other HHLA terminals both in Germany and abroad also invested in site expansion and more energy-efficient equipment.