Container Segment

Key Figures

in € million


1–9 I 2016


1–9 I 2015









- 1.2 %







0.8 %

EBITDA margin in %






0.5 pp







3.7 %

EBIT margin in %






0.8 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






- 2.1 %

Between January and September 2016, HHLA’s container terminals handled a total of 4,924 thousand standard containers (TEU), 2.1 % fewer than in the prior-year period (previous year: 5,027 thousand TEU). Volumes recovered in the third quarter of 2016, growing by 5.6 % year-on-year after lower volumes continued to dominate the first half of 2016. This was due in part to the stabilisation of handling volumes in the Far East shipping region, although these volumes were again down on the prior-year level on a cumulative basis. Feeder traffic to and from Russia, which has gradually recovered over the course of the year following severe slumps in 2015, contributed to volume growth in the third quarter and rose by 10.5 % overall in the reporting period. By contrast, throughput to and from the other Baltic Sea ports, such as in Poland or Sweden, again fell short of the previous year due to mega-ship calls. As a result, handling volumes at the three container terminals in Hamburg were down 2.7 % on the previous year in the first nine months of 2016 at 4,711 thousand TEU (previous year: 4,840 thousand TEU). Container throughput at the Container Terminal Odessa was again very strong, rising by 13.4 % year-on-year to 213 thousand TEU (previous year: 188 thousand TEU) due to cyclical factors.

The fall in volumes led to a corresponding decrease in revenue – albeit at the proportionately slower rate of 1.2 % year-on-year to € 512.7 million (previous year: € 518.7 million). Despite a slightly higher feeder ratio of 23.5 % (previous year: 23.1 %), there was an increase in average revenue per container handled at the quayside. 

The segment’s EBIT costs were reduced in line with the lower seaborne throughput, despite the high proportion of fixed costs typical of the container business. In particular, personnel expenses per unit remained unchanged as against the previous year. The higher average revenue lifted the operating result (EBIT) by 3.7 % to € 86.6 million (previous year: € 83.5 million). Accordingly, the EBIT margin rose to 16.9 % (previous year: 16.1 %).