BERLIN, April 15 (Xinhua) -- A total of 304.7 million tons of seaborne goods was handled in German sea ports in 2018, marking an increase of 1.7 percent compared to the previous year, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Monday.
The volume of goods which German seaports received from other ports increased by 2.0 percent. The shipping of goods from German seaports over the world's oceans increased slightly less strong but still grew by 1.8 percent.
According to Destatis, the number of containers handled at German seaports remained unchanged at around 15.1 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) in 2018.
China remained the most important trade partner for maritime freight transport with 3.0 million standard units, followed by the United States with 1.4 million TEUs and Russia with 0.7 million TEUs.
"Trade with China contributed the most, with an increase of 5.3 percent to a total of 22.9 million tons," Daniel Hosseus, managing director of the central association of German seaport companies (ZDS), told Xinhua on Monday.
These "positive numbers" would underline the importance of trade between China and Germany, added Hosseus.
"The increase in imports and exports via German seaports is an encouraging sign and shows how important shipping is for the economy," Ralf Nagel, chief executive officer (CEO) of the German Shipowners' Association (VDR), told Xinhua on Monday.
Especially in "times of protectionism and isolation", shipping would need to be a "particularly strong advocate of globalization", emphasized VDR CEO Nagel.