On May 27, 2016, Norbert Wagener participated in the Chamber of Commerce of Hamburg on the occasion of the Elbschifffahrt day and presented the study of employment impacts of the commercial Elbe shipping industry developed by HTC and W&H on behalf of the state of Saxony-Anhalt.
After an introduction by Ms Daniela Düring as the representative of the client, Dr. Wagener claimed that a total of 16,000 jobs depend on the Elbe shipping. This corresponds approximately to the number of employees of the automotive manufacturer Adam Opel AG or the three-fold number of employees employed worldwide by the HHLA Group. The measures only concern the actual situation in Germany, that is, without the Czech Republic and without taking into account the potential for improved shipping conditions. The securing of a minimum driving depth of 1.60 to 345 days per year is urgently required by the transhipping economy as an essential prerequisite for environmentally friendly and cost-effective inland waterway transports. Trimodality and the option of using inland waterways are crucial competitive and location factors for the economy in the Elbe region.
In the event of a continuation of the restrictions on the shipping of the Elbe, jobs are particularly vulnerable in the medium term in the areas of machinery and plant construction (heavy load and large volume goods). In regards to the shipping industry, which uses the Elbe shipping, the competitive disadvantages mean a loss of market and growth opportunities with negative employment effects. In the long term, the disadvantages of the location will also have a negative effect on new investments. This is not an abrupt, but rather a silent, creeping process which weakens the economic power of the regions concerned in the long term. At the conference, not only the need for action was made clear, but also demands and solutions were discussed.
The lecture and further information can be found on the website http://elbeallianz.org.