Steam and electric cranes greatly speed up handling
Initially built for river craft, the port was rapidly expanded to handle seagoing vessels: open toward the Elbe with long wharfage and warehouses, as well as railway and road access. Back then, steamers had replaced sailing freighters and the cargo could be loaded with steam and electric cranes, which greatly sped up handling.
Continuously adapted to changing needs
The Port of Hamburg overall as well as the center port, its wharfage and infrastructure, are constantly being adapted to new cargo handling needs, with water areas being enlarged or reduced. By 1936, the Ross Terminal had been expanded eastward, the Hansa Terminal was expanded eastward in 1978 and, by 1997, the Ellerholz Canal and Rodewischhafen harbor basin were finally filled in.
the 1970s, the BUSS Group had been operating first the Ross quay, then later the Hansa Terminal as well. With the end of their lease and the closure of the Hansa Terminal, cargo handling at the Oderhafen basin ended in 2016.
The last historical relics are a workshop on the Ross Terminal from the 1920s that is still being used by European Metal Recycling GmbH as well as three steel bridges from the original port facility (built in 1913, 1922, and 1925) that ran over the now-filled Ellerholz Canal. One of the bridges will likely be used in the future as a pedestrian bridge in the HafenCity quarter.
History: Steinwerder’s seaport undergoing change
On the former island of Steinwerder on the Elbe River, numerous large basins were dug at the start of the 20th century as part of the second major expansion of the port. The future location Steinwerder Süd will thus connect to a tradition of reconstruction and development in this area spanning over 100 years.
Starting in 1904, the Oderhafen harbor basin was excavated to the Süd of the Ellerholzhafen basin, which was constructed back in 1901. In 1907, additional excavation resulted in the Rosshafen basin with the Ross Terminal; at the same time, the Oderhafen basin was expanded eastward. The next step was in 1914, when the city dug the Ellerholz Canal, the Rodewischhafen basin and today’s Travehafen basin, which forms the western part of the current Hansa Terminal.