Hamburg as a location

The green metropolis as gateway to Europe

It's the mix that counts - the building blocks of success in Hamburg

The Hamburg metropolitan region - conveniently situated between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea - not only has a centuries-old tradition of overseas trade with the Port of Hamburg, but has also developed into the central goods hub for Northern Europe thanks to a system of inland and sea ports.

Hamburg has always been the gateway of Africa, America, Asia and Australia to the attractive markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Continuing globalisation has enabled the Hanseatic City to further enhance its status as the leading logistics location in Northern Europe. The Hamburg metropolitan region is therefore rightly regarded as the German centre for foreign trade. Many thousands of international companies are represented in the greater Hamburg area, and with 90 consulates, the Hanseatic City is the second largest consular centre in the world after New York. In addition, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is also the seat of the United Nations International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

The Hamburg metropolitan region is one of the most competitive regions in Germany and Europe. Around 5.3 million people live and work here. With a good 55% share of economic output, the City of Hamburg is the region's dynamic economic centre. Closely intertwined with its surrounding area, some 300,000 residents of the neighbouring districts travel to work in the hanseatic city. The metropolis is the intersection of the most important European transport axes between Scandinavia, Western, Eastern and Southern Europe, as well as China's gateway to Europe. Today, a total of more than 170,000 companies and tradesmen are registered with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. It is true that world-famous names such as Airbus, Beiersdorf, Hapag Lloyd, Helm, Olympus, Otto Group, Panasonic, Tchibo and the major publishing houses continue to dominate the Hamburg economy. However, many small and medium-sized companies also often shape world markets.


Around 8,000 ship calls per year, almost 320 berths on quay walls for ocean-going vessels totalling 43 kilometres in length, more than 2,300 freight trains per week. Four modern container terminals, three cruise terminals and around 50 specialised handling facilities for RoRo and general cargo shipments and bulk goods of all kinds, as well as some 7,300 logistics companies within the city limits. These are just some of the factors that make the port of Hamburg one of the most flexible and efficient universal ports in the world. 135.1 million tons of cargo passed over the quaysides of Germany's largest seaport in 2018. This included some 8.7 million standard containers (TEU). This makes Hamburg the third largest container port in Europe and ranks 18th in the list of the world's largest container ports. (Source: www.hafen-hamburg.de)


With around 14 million passengers, Hamburg Airport is one of the largest commercial airports in Germany. For visitors to Hamburg, its location close to the city centre (8.5 km from the city centre) is a big plus.

A dense route network connects Hamburg with all major European economic and commercial centres. With around 140 direct international and national destinations, companies in particular can optimally cultivate their business relations throughout Europe. Around 70 airlines are represented in Hamburg.

The Hamburg Airport Cargo Center (HACC), opened in May 2016, is a modern cargo centre with approx. 20,000 square metres of logistics space for handling companies and freight forwarders.

Hamburg is the most important railway junction in Northern Germany. Five long-distance railway lines of Deutsche Bahn and two regional lines converge here. The connections to Berlin, Hanover, Bremen/Ruhr area, Flensburg/Jutland and Lübeck/Copenhagen (Vogelfluglinie) are an integral part of the Trans-European Transport Network and connect Hamburg with the major economic centres in Europe.

The port of Hamburg is traditionally a railway port, i.e. goods are transported for longer distances mainly by rail, an environmentally friendly mode of transport. Due to the high volume of freight, the port of Hamburg is one of Deutsche Bahn's most important customers. More than 100 container trains are handled every day. These trains connect all the major economic and trading centres in Germany and neighbouring countries. This makes the Port of Hamburg the largest rail container transhipment centre in Europe.

Hamburg has one of the largest and most modern German transhipment stations for combined cargo transport (KLV) in Hamburg Billwerder (area 300,000 m²). Together with the Maschen marshalling yards (300 km of track, shunting capacity approx. 5,000 wagons daily) and Alte Süderelbe, it creates the basis for the transport industry to offer fast and efficient transport logistics services. In the competition between long-distance freight carriers to and from Hamburg, rail has a market share of over 70%. In addition to Transfracht International (TFG), companies such as Railion, Eurogate Intermodal, HHCE, Interconainer-Interfrigo, Kombiverkehr and Metrans transport goods to the hinterland by rail. Departure and arrival times that are redefined daily and coordinated timetables of the participating railways ensure punctual and reliable delivery. Not only containers, but also project cargo, pipes, liquid cargo in tank wagons, ores, coal, grain, sugar and much more are transported by rail from the European neighbours to Hamburg or from the Elbe port into the European hinterland.

In passenger traffic, Hamburg is the starting point for the most important north-south connections in ICE and IC traffic. A total of more than 700 long-distance trains leave the city every day. Hamburg Central Station is the station with the highest passenger frequency in Germany.

Hamburg is efficiently connected with the major international and neighbouring regional economic centres. The city is criss-crossed by a radial network of trunk roads (80 km of motorway within the city limits), on which long-distance traffic is handled. However, there are still a number of bottlenecks, the removal of which is necessary to accommodate the growth in traffic, particularly due to the steadily increasing volume of goods handled in the port of Hamburg.

For example, a link between the A1 and A7 motorways is planned, which will cross the port area and provide a western (A20) and eastern (A21) bypass of the city. In addition, the existing ring road system (rings 2 and 3) is to be expanded and a motorway ring around the city is to be created with the A 26 in order to be able to cope with the growing road traffic in the long term. The expansion of the A7 motorway will help to keep Hamburg's motorway network economically viable.

More than 1,700 road haulage companies with 45,000 trucks are registered with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to the port and Hamburg's position in international cargo handling, the forwarding industry has special know-how in international transport of all kinds. Mostly it is a matter of door-to-door traffic or broken traffic with transport chains of different carrier systems. More than 120 courier, express and parcel services are available in Hamburg for the transport of small and urgent consignments. The express services make it possible for goods for the whole of Germany to reach the recipient the next morning. Around 4,000 couriers take care of distribution within the city.

Dwelling & Living
People like living and working in Hamburg - because not only living and working still form a unity. The city and the preferred residential areas are in the immediate vicinity. Moreover, in Hamburg you are always on the waterfront. The network of canals and canals running through Hamburg is around sixty kilometres long. On their banks are both prestigious middle-class villas and townhouses as well as Wilhelminian-style apartment buildings that offer space for different lifestyles. From villas to five-storey apartment buildings with elaborate entrées and prestigious décor, from family-friendly homes to loft for creative people, Hamburg has a valuable, well-kept fabric of buildings.

International visitors are always surprised: Hamburg is a green metropolis with more trees than inhabitants. Almost half of the city area is green. Between settlement axes there are broad landscape zones and create space for park landscapes, the likes of which are probably only found in Hamburg outside the UK. The Alsterpark, Planten un Blomen with its Japanese garden, the Stadtpark and the many small parks along the Elbe: nowhere is it far to the next green spot and the water. A total of 120 parks contribute to the fact that about 40% of the city area is green. Some 2,400 bridges cross-rivers and canals - that is more than in Amsterdam, Berlin or Venice.

In Hamburg it is not difficult to spend your free time actively. Everything that makes life pleasant can be found in Hamburg in abundance. Even shopping becomes an experience in Hamburg. After all, Hamburg's city centre is criss-crossed by a whole network of attractive shopping arcades with an almost endless range of offers. Especially for those interested in culture, Hamburg has consistently expanded its offer. Hamburg's stages offer something for every taste. Hamburg's music scene is also world famous. Around the Reeperbahn alone, a good fifty music clubs and discos set musical trends. In addition, a wide range of entertainment for the whole family, consisting of theatres, musicals, music clubs, gastronomy and a rest of red light make up the mix that makes Germany's 42nd Street attractive for tourists all over the world. For older students there is a wide range of concerts from jazz to classical music. Around 40 public and private museums offer their visitors attractive exhibitions on art, history, trade or ethnology. An art mile has been created between the Alster and the Elbe, near Hamburg's new landmark, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall. Its flagship is the Gallery of Contemporary Art, which attracts around one million visitors a year. In addition, visitors can spend their afternoons rowing and sailing on the Alster and Elbe, taking leisurely canoe trips on the many waterways or swimming in the numerous swimming pools.

On the other hand, those who prefer to spend their leisure time in a more earthy way have a wide range of possibilities in Hamburg. In addition to two traditional football clubs in the German Bundesliga, the tennis club am Rothenbaum is known far beyond the city's borders as a venue for international championships. With the German Jumping and Gallop Derby, Hamburg has become a Mecca for riders. Golfers can choose from a dozen courses, including the surrounding area over 30.


Hamburg metropolitan area