A word on CuxPort GmbH, a diversified cargo handling terminal...
CuxPort GmbH, which is 74,9% owned by Rhenus Logistics and 25,1% owned by HHLA (Hamburg Port Authority), is a fully operationally independent subsidiary. It is not the recipient of cross-subsidies from either Rhenus, since this is not part of the Rhenus Group's business strategy.
Nevertheless, the Rethmann family, which owns the 25,000 employee strong Rhenus Group, is a supporter of Cuxhaven and has invested heavily in the location - in part due to their traditional, historical and familiar connection to the coastal city. CuxPort is a privately operated segment of Cuxhaven's overall port infrastructure which owns and operates terminals and handling services.
Peter Zint, general manager of CuxPort, gave the following overview of CuxPort's activities:
First of all, Mr Zint discussed what it means to be positioned directly on the North Sea. On the one hand, there is excellent access to all of the high-intensity development areas in the offshore sector. On the other hand, one is positioned in the middle of the larger ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Thus, there is significant immediate competition and no geographic isolation.
CuxPort is mainly attractive to mid-sized vessels, specifically with respect to project cargo and roll on/roll off cargo, even though the port has a virtually unlimited draft. Cuxhaven-Hamburg and Cuxhaven-Bremerhaven are two excellent inland railroad connections, but in spite of these two advantages, larger vessels continue to steam to Bremerhaven and Hamburg.
With 900 ships processed each year, CuxPort provides service to liners to several European and international destinations, e.g. Cuxhaven-Immingham with 5-6 departures weekly, and which is roughly 50% of CuxPort's cargo volume (and which recently made the news due to stowaways). Traffic to Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Estonia play a smaller role. The traffic to Norway is noteworthy because the ships servicing that route operate using liquefied natural gas, on account of a strict Norwegian emissions requirements. A further monthly service to Alaska brings back fish twelve times a year, although this service is processed by Gooss Logistics.
Containerized traffic is only a tiny part of CuxPort's overall cargo turnover; rather, each ship is regarded as its own individualized set of challenges needing a fully cusomized cargo handling solution. Wood pallets are also handled by CuxPort, along with a diversity of unusual piece cargoes, like steel plates. Peter Zint gave the two further examples: a Voith-Schneider propulsion system which was moved by CuxPort and numerous heavy wind park transition pieces, which are loaded directly onto jack-up ships at CuxPort's heavy lift terminal. For such pieces going outside of German borders, including supply runs to wind park platforms, customs processing also needs to be offered because the carriage is regarded as as export.
With an eye to the future, Peter Zint suggested that Berth 4 would create up to 150 additional port-based jobs at CuxPort by Q1 2018. It's CuxPort's operational business risk to ensure that it reaches full capacity for Berth 4. But, of course, they remain quite confident on that point.