Hamburg dominates Hungary cargo service
TRANSIT cargo traffic with Hungary through the port of Hamburg rose 46.6 per cent last year to 144,743 tonnes.
The figure gives the Elbe port a clear lead over its rivals Bremen (110,000 tonnes) and Rotterdam (37,000 tonnes).
Hamburg traditionally has been Hungary's most important North Sea port.
In 1985, 765,000 tonnes of cargo was handled for Hungary: 275,000 tonnes of coal, 143,000 tonnes of rock phosphates and 124,000 tonnes of iron ore.
Although Hamburg is at a disadvantage in distance terms compared with the Adriatic ports, value for money, quality of service, frequency of sailings and availability of capacity are key factors, according to port officials.
In 1992-93 Hamburg's cargo-handling firms improved transport links to and from Hungary through involvement in direct rail services.
In Hungary itself an ''antenna system'' ensures a nationwide service.
For economic reasons, the units of cargo are directed to selected Hungarian terminals to link up with a sophisticated distribution system.
Most cargo transported between Hamburg and Hungary is carried by truck, with only about a third going by rail.
But the introduction of more direct rail services for containers, swap bodies and crane-liftable semi-trailers is expected to lead to a shift towards rail traffic. Top destinations for Hungary's exports through Hamburg were the US, Australia, Taiwan, Finland, Hong Kong and China.
The most important supplier countries were Hong Kong, Japan, China, Ecuador, Norway and South Korea.