Following lengthy discussions, the Federal Administrative Court has finally ruled that Hamburg can deepen the Elbe River, but only once it addresses environmental flaws in the plan.
The port city wants to deepen the Elbe by about a metre to ease access for mega ships and therefore keep up with the competition from other European ports.
Understandably, the Port of Hamburg has been concerned about how long the decision making process is taking.
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) Chairwoman, Angela Titzrath said that “Dredging must take place” quickly in order for the port to remain competitive.
“I would have hoped for a ruling that did not result in a further delay to the dredging of the river Elbe. It is extremely important that we and our customers are able to plan reliably,” she said.
“We therefore expect those involved in the proceedings to eliminate the existing uncertainties as quickly as possible.”
She pointed out that it is in the interests of the city and its citizens that all responsible parties now work closely with one another to get the job done quickly.
Ms Titzrath added: “I can understand that many people who work in or for the port are concerned following this ruling. I would therefore like to emphasise: The Port of Hamburg does not face an uncertain future.”
“There are many desirable qualities speaking in its favour, which give us a good chance among our competitors – its good connection to the hinterland, its state-of-the-art technical equipment, the high quality of its handling and not least its committed staff.”
The most important thing going forward, she said, is to continue to achieve customer satisfaction.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to achieve this end, including after this ruling,” she said.