Strong container throughput from Hong Kong and other Asian ports to Hamburg port resulted in a 13.8 per cent increase in box volumes to 2.74 million teus (20- foot equivalent units) in the first eight months of the year. A port spokesman from Hamburg estimated throughput for the year at 4.2 million teus. Hamburg port, which handled 259,969 teus in July and 361,177 teus in August, set two new throughput records, he said. While Asia's economies recover, exports from Europe to the region are also rising, boosting cargo volumes. The Eastbound Management Agreement conference, for example, estimated that first-half growth in container traffic from Europe to Asia was at 6 per cent, a figure which increased considerably in the second half of the year. The corresponding figures in Hamburg reached 9.5 per cent outbound and 16.1 per cent inbound, the spokesman said. Asia continued to be the number one region in terms of container throughput at Hamburg, amounting to 847,000 teus. He said the port is served by vessels providing 20 fully cellular services with East Asia. A total of 29 services of this type currently link Europe with East Asia. Hamburg gained two new liner services last year with the addition of China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) and a new service by the CMA-CGM Group. Deployment of new and larger container ships on other services plus the extension of existing services to cover other ports of call on the Chinese mainland further enhance Hamburg's position and attractiveness. In the first six months of this year, Hamburg's cargo throughput of 40.73 million tonnes represented growth of 2.5 per cent. This suggests that the final figure for the year will exceed last year's total of 81 million tonnes. The spokesman said European container services also performed well during the first half of the year. Their vital feeder and distributor functions make these especially crucial for the expansion of existing services and the addition of new ones.