The Hamburg port group HHLA will no longer be able to catch up with the massive turnover declines by the Coronavirus in the further course of the year. In the coming weeks, less and less ships from China reach the HHLA quay, which will be filled in addition, in some cases only half, with containers, reported the Chairman of the Board Angela Titzrath on Wednesday in a telephone conference. The Board of management had already been issued in the last week, a profit warning to shareholders and a decline in sales and earnings announced.

“The production in China is now up and running again,” said Titzrath. “The ships that leave right now there, are full.” You will reach the port of Hamburg at the end of April and beginning of may, and the envelope temporarily in the height of bustle. Then be expecting a normalization of the situation. If then the Goods can be smoothly from the port in the German and European Hinterland to be transported, will depend on whether and how far the economic life will have passed by then re-Occurs.

The port of Hamburg and therefore on the HHLA as the largest envelope of operation is approximately one-third of trade with China dependent. From there, only consumer goods like clothing and electronics, but also parts for the German industry not to come. “We are aware of our responsibility as a service provider for the industrial nation of Germany aware of,” said Titzrath. The Board of management have taken a variety of measures in order to protect both the health of the employees as well as the work on the Terminals and the railway operation. Nevertheless, the Board of Directors speak with the works Council, as a precautionary measure on the possible short-time work.

Regardless of the Coronavirus exacerbated the conditions of competition for HHLA in recent years. The number of large container shipping companies has halved from 21 to 11, which have been found in the three big alliances. You are in control of 80 percent of the container shipping industry and have a significant market power on the demand side, developed. The OECD already spoke of a “ruinous competition” of the port companies. The HHLA in a position to the changing Situation by developing new, mainly digital business, your Service was developing, handling, and logistics even more closely linked, and in potentially profitable projects to invest in.

The fiscal year ended for the HHLA with a sales increase of 7.1 percent to EUR 1.4 billion. Of the year, the group’s net income after minority interests decreased by eight percent to 103 million euros. The shareholders will receive a dividend of 70 cents per share, to 80 cents in the previous year. The serve, under the circumstances, the conservation of liquidity.

dpa