“2017 was a good year for BLG LOGISTICS in many respects, and that will also be reflected in the earnings of the BLG Group,” declared BLG CEO Frank Dreeke at the Bremen State Press Conference on Ports on December 11. “Automotive handling in Bremen grew once more, the high and heavy segment handled more cargo than ever and the Neustädter Hafen port facility is rapidly picking up speed,” he continued. In the CONTAINER segment, represented by EUROGATE, BLG expects a steady or slightly reduced handling volume at its German container terminals as compared to the previous year.
This year, automotive handling was influenced by better sales figures of German car manufacturers in the US and Chinese markets, a slight uptick in the Russian market and an extremely dynamic Central European market: the handling volume at BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven will total between 2.15 and 2.2 million vehicles through the end of the year.
In all, the total handling volume in the AUTOMOBILE network as a whole, with its sea ports and inland terminals, vehicle transports by truck, train and inland vessel as well as its technical centers, will still fall a few percentage points short of 2016’s high-water mark. BLG anticipates a total of 6.03 million handled, transported and technically processed vehicles for 2017. This is due to developments in the forwarding services segment. For example, transports of Ford vehicles destined for the UK via inland vessels on the Rhine have decreased.
Neustädter Hafen, Bremen’s only all-purpose port and Europe’s largest terminal for general and heavy cargo, is developing positively. “Neustädter Hafen has seen five tough years out of the last 15,” said Frank Dreeke. “But right now we’re feeling the economic upswing in Europe and the USA. The handling quantities in the areas of steel and forest products have skyrocketed. The handling of wind turbines has also increased.” As of the end of the year, Neustädter Hafen will have handled around 1.3 million tons of cargo, a gain of over 25 percent.
A record was achieved in Bremerhaven, where BLG handles not only vehicles but also a wide range of high and heavy cargo. Through the end of the year, BLG LOGISTICS expects to have handled 1.35 million tons of cargo in all, including self-driving construction vehicles and cranes, as well as project cargo such as heavy cargo and complete train systems, which are loaded onto RoRo ships in Bremerhaven. This represents not only an increase of 15 percent over the previous year, but also the largest handling volume ever.
In 2017 we also attained important milestones in building and expanding our forwarding business. After merging FORTRAGROUP with the BLG Group in 2016, BLG acquired a large SME, the Hamburg-based Kitzinger forwarding group. BLG Industrielogistik achieved two important successes in the auto parts logistics area: for its Bremen Logistics Center, BLG has secured the entire current business of one of its most important partners, Daimler AG, for the long term. Together with the new contract with ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the world’s second-largest automotive supplier, the Bremen site is running at virtually full capacity.