Jade Weser Port – Germany’s Sleeping Beauty has woken up

Jade Weser Port aerial photography. Photo © JadeWeserPort

At the beginning of 2018, JadeWeserPort operator Eurogate reported a successful business year at its container terminal in Germany’s only deep-water port in Wilhelmshaven, as published by radio NDR 1. According to the company, they achieved double-digit growth at the JadeWeserPort location for the second year in a row: it was plus 15 percent in 2017, which is remarkable after an initial investment of one billion Euro followed by a five-year slumber. The idea of building the port was already widely considered as being a flop. In contrast, business at Eurogate’s second German location in Hamburg shrank by a quarter to around two million containers. JadeWeserPort is the only German port capable of landing newly developed giant freighters loaded with up to 22,000 containers per trip (compared to 5,000 – 8,000 containers on conventional vessels). Those freight ships are especially used on the route from China to Europe and are making sea-transport much more efficient and even cheaper.

Eurogates success is one of several positive headlines for the JadeWeserPort: Volkswagen has announced to build a new packaging center for car parts of VW and Audi later this year. Starting in summer of 2019, they will be packaged in Wilhelmshaven for the Volkswagen Group and shipped overseas. In addition, at the beginning of 2018, frozen food logistics company Nordfrost put a new warehouse into operation at the container terminal. The company has also announced plans to invest 100 million euros in the site by next year.

However, according to Nordwest Zeitung there are fears that in near future fewer ships of Maersk shipping company could land at Jade-Weser port. Apparently there might be a change in their timetable. Their aim is to improve reliability of their Asia-Europe services. Due to the steadily increasing number of large container ships, its punctuality had diminished in the past, as Eurogate reported.

Maersk freight liner MARY MAERSK landing at Jade Weser Port, photo © JadeWeserPort

That is why Maersk apparently canceled 17 port stops in northern Europe and the Mediterranean. According to Eurogate, this also affects the Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven. A Eurogate spokeswoman confirms: “Although we understand that some of the timetable changes that have been announced are not yet final, it may be that the number of stops in Wilhelmshaven will be temporarily reduced”

Eurogate seems not worried and explained towards NDR 1 that if Maersk sends less ships in the future, they would try to distribute the containers to other liner services. The Danish shipping company will release its Asia-Europe timetable this month.