A German court has postponed a decision on the expansion of the river Elbe that would enable the Port of Hamburg to receive bigger ships.
It said a final decision could only taken once the European Court of Justice has clarified questions still outstanding on the environmental impact of the project. These questions will be resolved by spring 2015 in connection with complaints against a deepening of the River Weser.
The port said it respected the decision from the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig on the deepening and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe.
With seaborne cargo throughput of more than 140m tonnes and annual container handling of over 9,000,000 TEU, Hamburg is one of the leading hubs in Northern European. Access from the sea via the Elbe is crucially important to the port, and the increasing number of mega-ships made the expansion of the river vital.