Current deepening of the river Elbe in Hamburg

Over the past few days, the port of Hamburg has drawn attention to itself because of the new situation and problems related to the current depth of the Elbe in Hamburg. Hamburg’s depth problem is more serious than previously expected. According to the shipping authority, the target depth cannot be guaranteed. Three reasons are:

• The new embankments are not stable enough.
• The several storm surges last winter.
• The reduction of water from the upper reaches of the Elbe.

More dredging will take place in the coming months, which could take up to 2 years in total. During that period, it will become more difficult for large ships to gain access because of the resulting restrictions on the Elbe. Originally, the Elbe was supposed to be 1.9 m deeper, but now the federal government is only talking about a maximum of 90 centimetres. Now the Elbe near the port of Hamburg has a depth of 15 metres. According to environmental organisations, the problem was foreseeable and had been warned about a decade ago. Indeed, according to Malte Siegert of NABU, one cannot attack nature.