In June it became known for the first time that Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG, HHLA for short, was negotiating with the Chinese state shipping company Cosco about a stake in the Tollerort container terminal in the Hanseatic city, the CTT.

This caused a lot of sensation in Hamburg, because large foreign shipping companies have held shares in the terminals, which have long been standard in other port cities, and so far there has hardly been any participation there.

Now the two partners have come to an agreement. As HHLA announced on Tuesday, around 35 percent of the Chinese are entering the port facility south of the Elbe. This is an important component "to secure capacity utilization and employment in the Port of Hamburg," it said.

Cosco has been an important HHLA customer for many years. The company's transports account for a large part of the China traffic in Hamburg, which recently accounted for almost a third of all container throughput at the local terminals. The Tollerort jetty, one of HHLA's three large jetties in Hamburg, plays an important role here, as it is where, among other things, the largest Cosco container ships with spaces for 20,000 standard containers (TEU) and more are handled. As can be seen from documents that Cosco has deposited on the Hong Kong stock exchange, the Chinese are paying around 100 million euros for the investment.

For the CEO of HHLA, Angela Titzrath, the entry of the Chinese is an important step in the battle for cargo. "The maritime world is currently exposed to very strong changes," she was quoted as saying. The Hamburg-based group and its Chinese partner both pursued the goal of securing the future of the CTT in terms of logistics and an even stronger interlinking of Chinese logistics flows at the Hamburg location. "

Specifically, Cosco Shipping Ports Limited, a subsidiary of the Cosco Group, is to participate there. It is active around the world and had a stake in Europe in the Greek port of Piraeus, among others. With the minority stake in the operator's company of the investor Tollerort, which was previously fully owned by HHLA, the Hamburg port facility should become a "preferred hub" in Europe, according to Cosco on Tuesday. "We look forward to developing the existing potential together with our partner HHLA and successfully further developing the location."

Hamburg has been facing tough competition with other ports on the North Sea for years. Because of its location far in the hinterland and thus close to sales markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the city has some advantages, but the long hanging game around the Elbe deepening has cost market share, as has changes among customers, the international shipping companies. The development continued in the first half of this year. Although Hamburg increased container handling in the tailwind of the current global boom by 5.5 percent to 4.3 million TEU, other locations such as Rotterdam or the ports of Bremen grew even more strongly.

Criticism comes from the Verdi union. She fears growing pressure on employees and collective agreements if Cosco, as a foreign investor, has a significant stake in Tollerort. HHLA, on the other hand, is trying to allay the concerns. With the entry of the Chinese, the terminal should get more cargo, which means there is more work for the employees, it says there. The Hamburg Senate also approves of the agreement with Cosco.