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Hamburg Port


Have we hit the low point of the Corona crisis, is the economy picking up again, or are things getting worse? Dealing with this uncertainty and responding to these special times with a well thought-out concept is currently the focus of local authorities, cities and states as well as companies and corporations.

In a world which revolves around the needs of global markets and infinite growth on a finite planet, our economies are heavily stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting into personal tragic fates and a halt in demand and consumption.

These consequences are in the spotlight for good reasons and I do not intend to downplay them, but I cannot help but wonder how large the ecologic footprint will be when we as a society and especially the marine industry, return to business.

The global port industry is already heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As reported by our customers, there have been numerous blank sailings to and from ports around the world. Terminals are facing significantly reduced export volumes, while import containers are not picked up by the consignee resulting in longer dwell time, congesting the yard capacities.

The anticipation is that the pandemic will continue for some time. Exactly how long is uncertain and equally no one knowns when and how fast the global economy will recover.  This means that not just the port handling volumes are likely to be affected by the global downturns, but also the viability of its terminals own clients; the shipping lines as well as shippers, receivers and logistics service providers are likely to be equally affected, leading to a higher risk of payment defaults for the terminals.

Against this background, terminals around the globe are preparing for reduced volumes and revenues. Development projects are re-evaluated or even stopped. Most of our terminal operator clients are reporting that they are either already in the process or planning to set up cost-cutting and rightsizing programs.

On May 1st, 2020, Suheil Mahayni joined the management of HPC Hamburg Port Consulting. Suheil comes from Lufthansa AG, where he established a system partnership with Frankfurt Airport as project manager. Before that, the graduate industrial engineer worked in various management functions in purchasing and sales at Lufthansa Technik AG.

Ninety or so days from when the Financial Times mentioned "China has reported the first death resulting from a virus that has infected more than 40 people", we are facing a radically different world; one that is changing so quickly that it is hard to even imagine the final size of Covid-19's impact and its consequences, let alone describe them. 

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