Germany is one of the most critical players in the global trade and maritime industry, and its top seaports play a significant role in this. The ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven, and Wilhelmshaven are among the busiest in Europe and handle a large volume of cargo, including containers, bulk goods, and vehicles. These ports are important hubs for transporting goods to and from Europe, Asia, and North America.
The major German seaports also provide crucial infrastructure and services for the maritime industry, such as ship repair, maintenance, and supply. The efficiency and capacity of these ports directly impact global trade and the maritime industry, as they are vital for the smooth and timely movement of goods worldwide.
If you’re interested in learning more about the major ports in Germany and their roles in the shipping industry, here is the list of the top ten seaports in Germany with crucial information about each port.
1. Hamburg Port
Known as Germany’s “Gateway to the World”, the Hamburg port is the largest port in Germany in terms of volume.
Regarding TEU, Hamburg is the third busiest port in Europe (after Rotterdam and Antwerp) and the 15th largest seaport in the world. Around 25% of internal shipping activities are located in Hamburg’s port, a key link between Eastern and Central European regions.
- UN LOCODE: DE HAM
- Berthing Volume: 320
- Total area: 7250 Hectares
- Container Traffic: 9.3 Million TEU
- Container Tonnage: 136.6 Million Tons
- Top Exports: Aircraft, mineral oil products, gold for industrial purposes, chassis, engines
- Top Imports: Office and automatic data processing machines, cars, packages, medicaments, etc.
- Major trading partners: United States, France, Turkey, Netherlands, and Hungary
2. Port of Bremen and Bremerhaven
The trading ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven are collectively referred to as the Ports of Bremen or Bremish Ports. These ports are among the biggest Ports in Germany. The port of Bremen, the largest industrial hub in Germany, is located on the Weser River’s edge, about 70 kilometers inland from the North Sea.
Bremen Ports GmbH & Co. KG, a private position on public property, manage them. The port built its first stone wall in 1032 as its trade with the Netherlands, Norway, and England began to grow.
- UN LOCODE: DEBRE
- Container Traffic: 5.2 Million TEU
- Container Tonnage: 69,695 Million Tons
- Major imports: Motor cars, caravans, aircraft, coffee, engines
- Major exports: Cars, ships, boats, measuring and automatic control instruments
- Major trade partners: United Kingdom, China, Russia, Poland, Netherlands
3. Port of Wilhelmshaven
The Wilhelmshaven port is the only deepwater port and is located between the Ems and Weser rivers on the western embankment of the Jade Delta. Wilhelmshaven Port is a medium-sized port when it comes to Ports in Germany. This port is hidden behind a two-chamber sea lock and is divided into an inner harbor that is tide-independent and an external deepwater port with unusual transshipment bridges.
Wilhelmshaven’s port is well-equipped with the newest harbor infrastructure for the transshipment of containers, refrigerated cargo, food, bulk cargo, project cargoes, and general cargo.
- UN LOCODE: DEWVN
- Container Traffic: 656,000 TEU
- Container Tonnage: 350,000 tons
- Major Exports: Petroleum products, LPG, liquid chemicals, scrap, and containerized cargo
- Major Imports: Crude oil, steam coal, chemicals, fertilizers, perishable foodstuffs, timber, salt
- Major trade partners: US, China, France, UK, Netherlands
4. Port of Duisburg
The quays in Duisburg-Ruhrort, the largest river harbor in the world, stretch nearly 40 kilometers along the river. It is situated in Duisburg, West Germany, about 20 kilometers north of Düsseldorf. Between the Ruhr Channel and the Rhine River at kilometers (774 and 781) is where this port is located.
The main inland shipping port in Germany is Duisburg-Ruhrort. In terms of all public and private port amenities, it is also recognized as the largest inland port in the world and the largest inland port in Europe. Approximately 1.5 million m2 of covered storage space is available at these locations. The hub for the pan-European canal connecting Amsterdam, Hamburg, Emden, Antwerp, and Rotterdam seaports is the port of Duisburg-Ruhrort.
- UN LOCODE: DE DUI
- Container traffic: 4.1 million TEU
- Container Tonnage: 111.1 million tons
- Major exports: German car parts, wines, textiles, clothes, and toys
- Major imports: Coal, oil, chemicals, scrap, metal industry additives, and building materials
- Top trade partners: Italy, Austria, Poland, US, UK, CHINA
5. Port of Rostock
The port of Rostock, Germany’s fourth-largest port, is well on its way to overtaking the other Baltic seaports. Thanks to its advantageous geographic location, both on land and at sea.
- UN LOCODE: DERSK
- Container traffic: 28.8 million TEU
- Container tonnage: 25.1 million tons
- Major exports: Forest products, sugar, coal, ores, steel products, scrap
- Major imports: Coal, building materials, fertilizer, grain, metals
- Major trade partners: China, US, Netherlands, Italy, UK
6. Port of Emden
The third-largest port in Germany, the Port of Emden, is situated close to East Frisia’s North Sea shore, next to the Ems River, in northwest Germany. It is one of Germany’s most prominent and busiest tide-free inland ports. The port is one of the biggest sea locks that is open 24/7.
- UN LOCODE: DEEME
- Container traffic: 13100 TEU
- Container Tonnage: 26836 tons
- Major export: Cars, forest products, pulp and paper, timber, grains, bulk goods for construction
- Major imports: Crude oil, coal metal, steel
- Major trade partners: US, UK, China, Poland, Italy
7. Port of Lubeck
The most isolated southwestern transportation hub is the Lubeck port, located on the Baltic Sea coast. It acts as a primary sound system for congestion between the quickly developing BSR countries and the traditional economic center in central or western Europe. It has an extensive network of direct facilities serving the region.
Due to the port’s borderland connections, the tonnage can reach its destination in several practical ways. The A1 motorway’s three lanes connect Lubeck with Europe’s key economic centers. The rail network offers excellent competence in terms of carload and combined congestion.
- UN LOCODE: DELBEC
- Container Traffic: 117000 TEU
- Container tonnage: 1.4 million tons
- Major imports: Paper, containers, automobiles, trucks, heavy goods
- Major exports: Sugar, grains, fruit, cars, metals, steel
8. Port of Kiel
The port of Kiel, which includes the route to the bars at the eastern end of Kiel Canal, is essential for passenger and cargo traffic. It is located in the inner section of the Baltic Sea Bay Kieler Forde. The port is one of the Baltic region’s most diverse ports.
The port is particularly appealing for its population density and cargo due to its geographic location, consistent depth for seagoing vessels, and direct access to the national railway and road network.
- UN LOCODE: DEKEL
- Container tonnage: 7.1 million tons
- Container traffic: 20000 TEU
- Major imports: Building materials, coal oil products
- Major exports: metal, sugar, steel, cars, gold
- Major trade partners: Belgium, China, US, UK, Switzerland
9. Port of Frankfurt
Germany’s Frankfurt Port is a medium-sized port. Due to their strategic locations and the alluring views of the Main (river) from the urban setting, its different inshore ports have transformed over time into new uptown areas.
- UN LOCODE: DEFRA
- Container tonnage: 4.3 million tons
- Container traffic: 64,794
- Major imports: Packaged medicaments, motor vehicles, vaccines, blood, etc.
- Major exports: Chemical products, cars, machinery
- Major trade partners: US, UK, Italy, China, India, Poland, Netherlands
10. Port of Brunsbuttel
The Port of Brunsbuttel is located close to the North Sea and at the Elbe River’s mouth. In the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, it serves as a point of entry to the Kiel Canal.
This port can handle a variety of commodities, including chemical containers, oil and gas containers, dry cargo, and dangerous items like explosives due to its proximity to a well-established industrial region.
- UN LOCODE: DEBRB
- Inner Harbor: 656 feet and 1640 feet long (Has its own coaling station connected to the inner harbor)
- Warehouse space: 27.9 thousand square meters
- Outdoor storage: 233.9 thousand square meters
- Major exports: Motor vehicles, machinery, aircraft, coal
- Major imports: Grains, sugar, chemical products, oil base products