Hamburg Makes More Space for Big Ships

© HHM / Marcus Walter

Posted by Eric Haun

Port of Hamburg project to redesign the Vorhafen
harbor basin entrance completed, meaning more maneuvering space
for big ships, faster berth assignment and improved safety of

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) said it has officially completed
the project "Redesigning the Entrance to the Vorhafen Harbor
Basin", within the schedule, both in terms of time and money. The
widened Vorhafen basin access benefits both container shipping
and cruise shipping. For one, the tidal (time) windows available
to inbound and outbound ships are longer now and the maneuvering
space for big ships in the Tollerort area has increased. For two,
it is now possible for cruise ships with a beam of 40 meters
(formerly 32.3 meters) to berth at the Cruise Center Altona.
Moreover, additional waiting berths for feeders can later be
provided, which will help reduce vessel movements in this highly
frequented section of the port.

The Vorhafen harbor basin is the approach to the cargo terminals
in Steinwerder. Its location along the main current of the
Norderelbe combined with the former river bank geometries had
created river current conditions that only allowed ships with a
maximum width of 370 meters to enter and leave the basin. The now
completed widening project permits the passage of vessels with a
beam of up to 400 meters.

"The widened Vorhafen basin entrance has made vessel traffic
management more efficient, easier to plan and safer," said Jens
Meier, Chairman of the Management Board of the HPA. "With the now
optimized waterside access we have added another important piece
to the port's infrastructure that will further increase the
competitive edge of the Port of Hamburg and benefit both
container shipping and cruise shipping."

Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and
Innovation, explained, "We are developing the port with an eye on
the future, and the infrastructure must be upgraded and expanded
accordingly. This pro-ject is another milestone in the
development of the port. Shipping companies and terminal
operators will benefit in particular."

The project comprised three major construction phases:

  1. The soil of a four-hectare large site at the Tollerort tip
    was removed to create more water surface area. Part of the
    excavated material was used to backfill what was left of the
    Kohlenschiffhafen harbor basin, thus creating additional areas
    for the Containerterminal Tol-lerort (CTT) and the Köhlbrandhöft
    sewage plant. The remaining soil was temporarily stored at the
    adjacent Kuhwerder Terminal for use in future port development
    and other infrastructure projects.
  2. On the northern Tollerort river banks new foreshore
    structures were built. An about 250-meter-long quay wall starts
    at the north-eastern corner of the Tollerort tip and turns into a
    roughly 350-meter-long embankment line in the western section.
    The already existing quay wall at the northern end of the
    Europakai was reinforced by an about 90-meter-long foreshore quay
  3. To reinforce the existing all-round quay wall at Lotsenhöft,
    a roughly 160-meter-long quay wall structure was built in front
    of it.

Due to the above measures ships can now maneuver in a space with
a diameter of 450 meters, berth assignment has become more
flexible and the safety of navigation in the Tollerort area has

Mar 7, 2017

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