Container Segment

Key Figures

in € million


1–9 | 2018


1–9 | 2017









1.3 %







- 3.8 %

EBITDA margin in %






- 1.5 pp







- 2.2 %

EBIT margin in %






- 0.7 pp

Container throughput in thousand TEU






1.0 %

A total of 5,507 thousand standard containers (TEU) were handled at the HHLA container terminals in the first nine months of 2018, corresponding to a year-on-year increase of 1.0 % (previous year: 5,453 TEU). Container throughput at HHLA’s three container terminals fell slightly by 0.5 % to 5,215 thousand TEU (previous year: 5,241 thousand TEU). Despite the loss of a South American service in the first half of 2018, cumulative volumes in overseas traffic increased by 0.9 %. This was driven by the sustained positive development in Far East volumes. However, the year-on-year decline of 4.7 % in feeder traffic could not be fully offset. The feeder ratio fell by 1.0 percentage point to 23.9 % (previous year: 24.9 %). Container throughput at HHLA’s international container terminals in Odessa (Ukraine) and Tallinn (Estonia) amounted to 292 thousand TEU (previous year: 212 thousand TEU). However, the prior-year figures are only comparable to a limited extent, as the container terminal in Tallinn was incorporated into HHLA’s consolidated group at the end of the second quarter of 2018.

The growth in volumes led to an increase in revenue, of 1.3 % over the first nine months of 2017 to € 571.2 million (previous year: € 563.6 million). The slightly disproportional increase in relation to volume is mainly attributable to the lower feeder ratio. This trend was also supported by occasional increases in handling rates. Furthermore, the share of local cargo increased, especially higher-margin, rail-dependent throughput. Storage fees, which were very high last year due to the realignment of service structures, fell strongly. The average revenue per container handled at the quayside rose by 0.3 % year-on-year.

The segment’s EBIT costs increased by 2.2 %, and thus faster than throughput volume. The main driver was increased personnel expenses, due in part to the rise in headcount following the integration of HHLA TK Estonia AS. Peak loads connected with the handling of mega-ships, as well as ship delays in the first quarter, resulted in an increased use of employees from Gesamthafenbetriebs-Gesellschaft (GHB) at the Hamburg terminals. Tariff increases in June 2018 also impacted personnel costs. In addition, there was a significant increase in energy costs due to the current high diesel prices. The operating result (EBIT) therefore fell slightly by 2.2 % year-on-year to € 102.9 million (previous year: € 105.2 million). The EBIT margin decreased accordingly to 18.0 % (previous year: 18.7 %).