Weak global trade is of course having an impact on Germany in its role as an
open, export-oriented economy and on the country’s logistics sector.
Before we take a look at the economic development of the entire logistics sector in
Germany, let us examine the impact of the developments in the global shipping
and aviation industries illustrated in the previous section on Germany. There are
parallels with regard to (slow) growth in recent years.
In 2015, the throughput of goods in ship transport at German ports merely
matched the level seen in 2011, falling almost 8% short of the record set in
2008. In terms of volume, the throughput of goods at German ports has
therefore yet to recover from the recession in 2009. The situation is similar when
it comes to container throughput at German ports, which fell by 4.6% in 2015.
As a result, container throughput last year was at its lowest level since 2010. At
the Port of Hamburg alone, container throughput decreased by more than 9% in
2015 on account of the decline in trade with China and Russia, among other
factors. The Port of Hamburg is an important hub for container shipments to the
Baltic Sea region.
A comparison with the previous decade illustrates how
sluggish the development of container throughput at German ports has so far
been in the 2010s: from 2000 to 2008, container throughput in Germany grew
by an average of more than 10% a year.