zoom With the impending adjustment to the Elbe fairway, Germany’s Port of Hamburg is preparing for the future also with improved infrastructure and digitalization.“We must get to grips with Industry 4.0, with digitalization and how this will change supply chains. We must develop the port to enable it to play a prominent role,” Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation, said.“We will improve the infrastructure, implement the fairway adjustments and secure good general conditions,” Horch added.Once the adjustment to the Elbe fairway is finalized, the port will be able to handle more containers and bulk cargo.“Terminals and other port facilities are well prepared for growth. Increased draft on the Elbe and simplification of manoeuvring by the construction of a passing zone on the Elbe downstream from Hamburg will facilitate more efficient use of hold capacities and crucially simplify passing for ultra-large vessels,” Ingo Egloff, HHM Executive Board colleague, added.In the last business year, the port saw a stable handling result comparable with the previous year.At 136.5 million tons, in 2017 seaborne cargo throughput in Hamburg, comprising general and bulk cargoes, was stable at a high level. A slight downturn occurred in handling of containerized general cargo at 8.8 million TEU, being one percent lower. At 44.7 million tons, the bulk cargo total was at the previous year’s level.In 2017 Hamburg received 102 calls by ULCVs in the size bracket 18,000 to 20,000+ TEU, a rise of 52.2 percent.Furthermore, Egloff informed that positive effects on the flow of imports via the Port of Hamburg are expected from the revamping of Import VAT agreed in the current coalition deal in Berlin.This would eliminate a long-standing disadvantage vis-à-vis the Netherlands, with importers in future able to deduct Import Tax immediately.In Germany Import Turnover Tax has so far been paid immediately and only later allow for in advance notification of Turnover Tax.