With its industry focussed on foreign trade, whether for imports or exports the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is of great significance for the Port of Hamburg. Shippers and forwarders in North Rhine-Westphalia use the dense network of worldwide liner services via Hamburg for global distribution of imported and exported goods that mainly consist of merchandise and department store articles, metals and metal products, machinery and equipment, vehicles, food and beverages. With annual traffic totalling around 500,000 TEU, North Rhine-Westphalia is the second most important region for the Port of Hamburg’s hinterland container traffic.
Around 79 percent of container transport between Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia is handled by road. Many areas of North Rhine-Westphalia are very well connected with the Hamburg Metropolitan Region via efficient intermodal terminals. Rail is the second most important carrier with around 19 percent of all traffic.