Shipping and port statistics
It is impossible to talk about logistics without mentioning the ports. And there are several of them in the federal state: Bremen (city) has five and Bremerhaven has two. Each year, 6,734 seagoing vessels dock there, while a further 8,301 barges come and go. Their combined transshipment volume equates to 74 million tonnes of goods, of which 56 million tonnes arrive/depart in containers.
Car transshipment is just as important as the container business, and Bremerhaven is home to what is probably the biggest car park in Europe. Every year, it handles 2.2 million vehicles.
A further 8.5 million tonnes of bulk cargo arrive at the ports in Bremen (city) each year, with goods ranging from grain and gravel to coal for power stations and ArcelorMittal’s steelworks.
Containers as far as the eye can see
Bremerhaven and Bremen handle 5.5 million standard container equivalents (TEUs) every year, putting them in fourth place in Europe. If all the containers were piled up on top of each other, the crane needed to place the last container at the top of the tower would have to be 13,200 kilometres tall.
More than half of these containers are transshipments. Bremerhaven serves as a hub where containers are unloaded from large ocean-going ships and loaded onto smaller ships that take the containers to other ports in Europe.
The remainder (2.57 million TEUs) are transported inland to destinations in Germany and other European countries by road, rail or barge. Of the five Bremen logistics centres, the Cargo Distribution Center (GVZ) plays a key role, as containers are loaded and unloaded, transferred, sent on new routes and managed here. One example is the company Roland Umschlag, which puts containers and even entire lorries onto trains at the GVZ.