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China remains most important partner for German seaports in container traffic

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BEIJING : China remained the “most important partner” for German seaports in container traffic in 2022, accounting for more than one-fifth of the country’s container throughput, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said it recently.

A total of just under 3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from China were handled at seaports in Europe’s largest economy last year, down 3.2 percent from the previous year, according to official figures.

At the same time, total container throughput at German seaports fell by 6.3 percent year-on-year to 13.9 million TEUs. Container throughput thus remained below pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

Possible reasons for the decline were “COVID-19-related restrictions due to lockdowns, supply chain problems as well as congestion in container shipping,” Destatis said in a statement.

Three Chinese ports were among Germany’s top five international partner ports for container traffic in 2022. Shanghai was the most important partner port overall with 893,000 TEUs, Ningbo and Shenzhen followed in the third and fifth place with 508,000 TEUs and 391,000 TEUs, respectively.

In February, Germany’s largest universal port, the Port of Hamburg, already announced that China remained its top trading partner “by a wide margin.” Last year, the port handled 2.46 million TEUs from China, only slightly less than in 2021, according to Port of Hamburg Marketing.

China has been Germany’s most important trading partner for seven years in a row. In 2022, the total trade volume between the two countries grew 20.9 percent year-on-year to 297.9 billion euros ($315.8 billion), according to Destatis.

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