Ports of Hamburg and Klaipėda to cooperate on development of international logistics chains


2022 05 05


The Port of Hamburg, the largest seaport in Germany, and Klaipėda State Seaport intend to strengthen cooperation in developing and implementing joint projects and developing new logistics routes for maritime and other types of transport between Germany and Lithuania. These are the objectives provided for in the cooperation memorandum between the ports, signed today by the heads of the ports at the meeting between Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis, who is visiting Hamburg together with the Lithuanian delegation, and Minister for Economy and Innovation of Hamburg Michael Westhagemann.


“The maritime and rail connections between Lithuania and Germany are an important part of international logistics chains and are becoming even more crucial in today’s geopolitical context. We have high potential to develop the transport connections between the two regions, strengthen economic relations between the countries and attract greater cargo flows, cooperate on various projects, exchange good practices in applying state-of-the-art technologies,” says Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Marius Skuodis.


During the meeting with Minister for Economy and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg Michael Westhagemann and the chief executives of the Port of Hamburg, Minister Skuodis discussed the possibilities to strengthen cooperation of the Port of Klaipėda and Lithuanian Railways with the Port of Hamburg and encouraged German partners to make use of the increasing opportunities to transport cargo via rail to the Baltic Region. New perspectives are opened up by Rail Baltica, the European gauge railway line under construction in the Baltic States, which is already being used for rail cargo flows from Europe to Kaunas Intermodal Terminal. A new route for regular international cargo transportation between this terminal and Duisburg was launched just a month ago, providing clients with possibilities to transport semi-trailers and containers by rail to other terminals in Germany, Italy, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden. While searching for new directions, Lithuania has suggested launching a similar route from Kaunas to Hamburg.


The Minister also invited German companies to participate in building an offshore wind farm near Klaipėda by making use of the opportunities available at the Port of Klaipėda, and in developing the southern part of the Port of Klaipėda – preparing studies, technical projects, performing contract work.


“Lithuania is actively preparing to develop the offshore wind energy project in the Baltic Sea near the Port of Klaipėda – the Seimas recently gave the go-ahead for the first offshore wind farm in the country, which could cover a quarter of Lithuania’s electricity demand. We are inviting German companies to participate in this project by establishing themselves at the port and carrying out these activities,” said Minister Skuodis at the meeting with the heads of the city and the port.


The tender for the developer of the first Lithuanian offshore wind farm is planned to be announced in 2023. The wind farm should start operating in 2028. Cooperation with German partners in this area promises very high potential – some of the major manufacturers of wind turbines and leading companies in implementing offshore wind farm projects are established in Hamburg.


The memorandum between the ports of Klaipėda and Hamburg, which has been signed for 5 years, will become grounds for closer cooperation: developing new routes for maritime and intermodal transport between Germany and Lithuania, implementing state-of-the-art technologies, exchanging practices in marine engineering, developing the ports, their industrial zones and logistics services.


The Port of Hamburg is the largest seaport in Germany and one of the most important cargo centres in Europe. It is essential for the foreign trade of Germany and its neighbouring countries, distributing cargo for the North and Baltic Sea Region.


The Port of Klaipėda sustains very good relations with the German ports of Hamburg, Kiel, Lübeck and Brunsbüttel. Cargo flows between the Port of Klaipėda and German ports account for the largest share of cargo at the Port of Klaipėda. In 2021, the cargo turnover between both countries was 6.22 million tonnes – more than 13 % of the total cargo at the Port of Klaipėda (45.6 million tonnes). It is expected to continue and strengthen such cooperation. Lithuania also seeks to attract strategic investors that would rent the newly formed port territories for operations, production, logistics and generating new cargo flows.


During his stay in Germany, the Minister will also visit Lübeck, where he will meet with Jan Lindenau, Mayor of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, and visit the Port of Lübeck. Lübeck, the sister city of Klaipėda, is important for increasing the volume of cargo at the ports of Klaipėda and Lübeck. In addition, Lübeck is an interim stop in ferry lines and therefore opens up opportunities for cooperation and tourism attraction.


During his visit, on 6 May, M. Skuodis is scheduled to meet with German Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport Volker Wissing. The ministers intend to discuss cooperation with German carriers, possibilities for diversifying transport flows, development of infrastructure for climate-friendly vehicles, as well as alternative fuels.


M. Skuodis is visiting Germany on 5-7 May together with the heads of the Klaipėda State Seaport, Lithuanian Railways, carrier associations.