Container segment

Key figures

in € million


1–3 | 2021


1–3 | 2020









1.3 %







15.7 %

EBITDA margin in %






3.7 pp







26.6 %

EBIT margin in %






3.3 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






- 6.6 %

During the first three months of 2021, total throughput volume at HHLA’s container terminals decreased year-on-year by 6.6 % to 1,677 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 1,796 thousand TEU).

At 1,533 thousand TEU, throughput volume at the three Hamburg container terminals was down 7.2 % on the same period last year (previous year: 1,652 thousand TEU). This was mainly due to the loss of a Far East service in mid-May 2020. Cargo volumes for Far East services subsequently decreased slightly, while volumes for Middle East services fell strongly. There was also a strong year-on-year decline in the UK shipping region. Feeder traffic in the Baltic region was also down significantly. The proportion of seaborne handling by feeders was down 1.2 percentage points to 19.7 % (previous year: 20.9 %).

Handling volumes at the international container terminals in Odessa and Tallinn fell slightly by 0.3 % to 143.8 thousand TEU (previous year: 144.3 thousand TEU). The container terminal in Trieste did not yet process any container ships in the first quarter.

Revenue increased year-on-year by 1.3 % to € 198.1 million in the first quarter of 2021 (previous year: € 195.6 million). Volume shortfalls were more than offset by an increase in revenue quality. The average revenue per container handled at the quayside rose significantly by 8.5 % year-on-year. This was due to an advantageous modal split with a high proportion of hinterland volumes and a temporary increase in storage fees resulting from longer dwell times caused by pandemic-related delays to sailings.

EBIT costs decreased by 2.5 % year-on-year during the reporting period, due in particular to the volume-related decline in material and personnel expenses. Adjustments were made primarily in the use of external staff.

The year-on-year increase in the operating result (EBIT) of 26.6 % to € 32.7 million (previous year: € 25.8 million), primarily attributable to the improved revenue quality. The EBIT margin rose by 3.3 percentage points to 16.5 %.

In the first quarter of 2021, HHLA continued to invest in climate-friendly handling equipment. For example, HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) and HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) took delivery of eight and six new hybrid transport vehicles respectively, with much lower consumption than diesel-powered equipment. With the expansion and partial retrofit of its existing block storage system (YCS, yard crane system), the Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) helped to further modernise and boost the efficiency of our terminals. At the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA), the fleet was expanded with additional lower-emission battery-powered automated guided vehicles (AGVs) with electric charging function. The HHLA terminals abroad also invested in site expansion and more energy-efficient equipment.