Container segment

Key figures

in € million


1–3 | 2022


1–3 | 2021









9.2 %







9.1 %

EBITDA margin in %






- 0.1 pp







15.5 %

EBIT margin in %






0.9 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






3.7 %

In the first quarter of 2022, container throughput at HHLA’s container terminals increased moderately year-on-year by 3.7 % to 1,740 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 1,677 thousand TEU).

At 1,618 thousand TEU, throughput volume at the Hamburg container terminals was up 5.5 % on the same period last year (previous year: 1,533 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 in March 2022 as a result of the sanctions imposed by the EU. Feeder services accounted for 21.2 % of seaborne handling in the first quarter of 2022, which was significantly higher than in the previous year (previous year: 19.7 %).

Although TK Estonia recorded significant volume growth of around 30 % in the first quarter and PLT Italy achieved additional throughput volume after handling its first container ship in December, total throughput volume at the international container terminals decreased by 15.3 % to 122 thousand TEU (previous year: 144 thousand TEU). This was due to the significant decline in cargo volumes at the terminal in Odessa after operations there were suspended by the authorities at the end of February following the Russian invasion.

Segment revenue rose significantly year-on-year by 9.2 % to € 216.4 million in the first three months of 2022 (previous year: € 198.1 million). Moderate volume growth was outpaced by a significant increase in average revenue. The latter resulted from additional revenue from RoRo and bulk cargo handling at PLT Italy and in particular from the significant rise in storage fees at the container terminals in Hamburg and Tallinn. The increase in storage fees was due to longer dwell times caused by backlogs in the supply chain.

EBIT costs increased significantly by 8.0 % year-on-year during the reporting period. The additional costs resulted from higher expenses for consultancy and services as well as from a strong rise in the cost of materials due to increased electricity and fuel prices prompted by the additional throughput volume. EBIT costs at the terminal in Trieste also rose considerably due to the terminal becoming fully operational compared with the first quarter of the previous year.

The operating result (EBIT) increased by 15.5 % to € 37.8 million (previous year: € 32.7 million). This was attributable to the above mentioned rise in average revenue and the positive volume trend. The negative developments at the Container Terminal Odessa (CTO) and their impact on earnings were more than offset by the other terminals. The EBIT margin rose by 0.9 percentage points to 17.4 %.

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 four more lower-emission, battery-powered automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Another six vehicles are due to arrive this year. This will complete the process of switching to battery-powered electric AGVs. In addition, the procurement process is underway for two more battery-powered tractor units. A field test was conducted to examine the potential for the AGVs’ electricity storage devices to contribute to grid stability. 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 2022. A hydrogen fuel station will be built 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.