Container Segment

Key Figures

in € million


1–9 | 2017


1–9 | 2016









9.9 %







13.1 %

EBITDA margin in %






0.9 pp







21.5 %

EBIT margin in %






1.8 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






10.8 %

A total of 5,453 thousand standard containers (TEU) were handled at the HHLA container terminals in the first nine months of 2017 – 10.8 % more than in the previous year (4,924 thousand TEU). Container throughput at HHLA’s three container terminals in Hamburg was raised by 11.3 % to 5,241 thousand TEU (previous year: 4,711 thousand TEU). HHLA benefited in particular from the reorganisation of syndicate structures and the resulting new liner services, whose new schedules became more firmly established over the course of the third quarter. The Asian routes performed particularly well in the first nine months of 2017, increasing by 17.3 % in total. A significant 17.9 % increase in feeder traffic with the Baltic Sea ports also contributed to throughput growth. The feeder ratio rose accordingly by 1.4 percentage points compared with the prior-year period to 24.9 % (previous year: 23.5 %). At 212 thousand TEU, container throughput at the Container Terminal Odessa was almost on a par with the same period last year (previous year: 213 thousand TEU). This slightly weaker trend was due to delays in ship handling in late September caused by unfavourable weather conditions.

The increase in volumes led to a rise in revenue, which was up 9.9 % on the third quarter of 2016 at € 563.6 million (previous year: € 512.7 million). The temporary increase in storage fees in the first half of the year, due to shipping delays and the associated increase in dwell times for containers at HHLA’s container terminals, contrasted with a higher proportion of lower-margin feeder traffic in the reporting period and a resulting fall in average revenue per container handled at the quayside. Consequently, average revenue declined by 0.7 % compared to the same period last year.

The segment’s EBIT costs rose by 7.6 % in the first nine months. Despite the growth in volumes, economies of scale on the cost side could not be fully realised. In conjunction with somewhat restricted capacity caused by ongoing extension and maintenance work at the container terminals in Hamburg, the high utilisation of storage capacity resulting from shipping delays and the reorganisation of syndicate structures led to peaks in demand that could only be managed with the use of additional resources. Nevertheless, the year-on-year increase in the operating result (EBIT) of 21.5 % to € 105.2 million (previous year: € 86.6 million), grew faster than the growth in volumes. The EBIT margin rose accordingly to 18.7 % (previous year: 16.9 %).

As part of the expansion work needed for the handling of mega-ships, three more container gantry cranes capable of handling ships with a capacity of over 20,000 TEU were put into operation at the HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) in the third quarter. HHLA now has a total of three highly efficient berths in Hamburg capable of handling the largest vessel category.