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Home Port News Hamburg port: Gateway to the World for Czechia and Slovakia

Hamburg port: Gateway to the World for Czechia and Slovakia

Metrans, founded exactly 70 years ago, was the main talking point at the Port of Hamburg Evening in Prague on 11 October. For centuries, Hamburg, Czechia and Slovakia have been linked by the rivers Moldau and Elbe. In the modern era, rail and trucking make an important addition. Proving the importance of these routes, in 2017 more than 465,000 containers were transported between the Port of Hamburg and Czech container terminals.

“HHLA subsidiary Metrans’s reliable intermodal network and service between Hamburg and Central Europe have made a colossal contribution to excellent results,” said Vladimir Dobos, Managing Director of the Port of Hamburg Marketing Representative Office in Prague. “Metrans was launched in what was then Czechoslovakia on 15 October 1948. Its present successful structure, so closely linked with the Port of Hamburg, and the intermodal story, had their origins in the 1990s.”

Ingo Egloff, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, added: “There are only very few sites linked with the Port of Hamburg by such a dense sequence of rail services as Prague, Dunajská Streda and the other cities in Czechia and Slovakia. A joint enterprise, the Metrans company, has contributed decisively to unfolding this success story.” Egloff recalled one man closely associated with it: Jiří Samek, who launched Metrans in its then novel form in Prague in 1991.

Metrans is now the most successful intermodal rail operator on services with Central and Eastern Europe, connecting Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and other countries in the region with German seaports with high-performance shuttle trains and its own inland container terminals. On average, a train with containers from all over the world leaves the Port of Hamburg every five hours, and about 400 trains per week operate for Metrans generally. Containers are transported onwards to customers by train or truck from the transhipment facilities in Czechia and Slovakia – as far as Slovenia, Austria and Hungary. Czechia is geographically located in the centre of Europe. Following the extension of the EU, it is among its rapidly developing growth markets. Being a short distance from Czechia, the Port of Hamburg offers a large variety of transport opportunities for rapid clearance of Czech import and export freight. Among the three million tons annually transported to and from Czechia, on the import side electronics, chemical products machinery, fuels and lubricants dominate. The main Czech exports using Hamburg’s dense network of 120 worldwide liner services are automotive parts, vehicles, electronics, machinery and chemical products.

Hosting around 250 guests at the Port of Hamburg Evening, HHM’s Representative Office was opened 28 years ago. Its continuing commitment ensures that its multiplicity of contacts with the economies of Czechia and Slovakia are intensively cultivated and purposefully expanded to the mutual benefit of all Port of Hamburg Marketing member companies.

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