Elbe fairway adjustment: Shipping profits from further additional width

The joint dredging operations by the Federal Shipping and Waterways Administration and HPA for construction of a passing box have been completed.

Elbe fairway adjustment: Shipping profits from further additional width
Photo: HHM / Michael Lindner

The Elbe fairway has been widened to 385 metres along the eight kilometres between Wedel and Blankenese. From today, seagoing ships with a combined width of 104 metres – instead of the former 90 metres – will safely be able to pass each other.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Heinrich Witte, President of the Federal Shipping and Waterways Administration, commented:

“The widening of the passing box will make the Elbe still more attractive for international shipping. Additional ship width means time gained and easier planning. This will ensure simpler and more effective traffic flow.”

Senator Michael Westhagemann:

“With completion of the passing box, an essential initial stage of fairway adjustment has been achieved. Services by mega-containerships can now be handled distinctly more rapidly and reliably, and this represents a real gain for shipping.”

The passing box will enable the approach to the Port of Hamburg to be less dependent on tidal ebb and flow. Pending the final completion of fairway adjustment on the Lower and Outer Elbe, some outstanding works connected with the deepening remain to be performed. These include removal of obstacles, profiling, soundings, etc, and nature conservation measures.