With over four million inhabitants, Hamburg is the 7th largest metropolitan area in Europe and among the most important harbours in the world. This metropolis on the water is the most eastern port of the Hamburg-Le Havre range, making it an ideal gateway for Germany and Eastern Europe and an important hub for the Baltic. Hamburg consistently ranked among the top three European ports and it is the largest seaport in Germany.
As a global maritime hub, the port of Hamburg connects Asia and the Americas to Central and Eastern Europe, the North Sea and the Baltic. The multipurpose port deals with a variety of commodity flows, where containerised cargo and fresh products play a significant role. The importance of the Hamburg logistics cluster goes beyond its port with extensive areas dedicated to warehousing and distribution. The city is connected through a reliable network of rail and freeways to Germany and the rest of Europe, and through the river Elbe up to the Czech Republic.
The Hamburg cluster is home of a large number of logistics operators, trading companies and logistics research centres, and is supported by numerous public institutions, so that it is at the heart of German logistics networks. The logistics activities are supported by the Hamburg logistics initiative, that brings together since 2006 over 450 companies with the aim of promoting the efficiency of the cluster and foster employment.
But it is probably the shipping community that makes Hamburg a particularly suitable location for the IAME conference in 2016. The city has been for centuries an important trading and shipping centre, and still today is the most important maritime hub in Germany and among the most important in the world. All shipping segments are well represented, from bulk cargoes to the cruise industry, and containers.
All major shipping lines have offices in Hamburg and the city is the head quarter of two major shipping groups: Hamburg Süd and Hapag-Lloyd. Furthermore the Hamburg maritime cluster is the home to a vibrant shipowners’ community. The city is also an important shipping finance centre with a long-standing tradition of shipbuilding and shipping-related investment, so that many important banks involved in shipping operate from Hamburg. Although the shipping finance sector had experienced some difficulties in the past few years, the cluster position of Hamburg in this area is still important, as competences and financial expertise are well rooted within the city.