• 18. März 2020
  • 15:00
  • Economy

Hungarian economy hit hard by coronavirus

On March 17th, Hungary also closed its national borders to passenger traffic. Transport of goods is not affected. In transit traffic, trucks are only allowed to drive on specified routes and assigned rest areas and petrol stations.

Many areas of public life are restricted and companies are gearing up to work from home.
In view of the current crisis, we spoke to Krisztina Kovacs, Head of the Port of Hamburg Representative Office in Budapest. As our colleague reports, the Hungarian economy is suffering greatly from the effects of the coronavirus.

A significant decline in imports from the Far East has already been registered. Due to blank sailings, there is also a lack of empty containers for the export of goods. In addition, shipping space is very scarce, as export goods are now also coming from southern Germany to the Adriatic ports as a result of reduced shipping traffic in the northern ports. Rail freight traffic is also restricted and many rail providers have had to reduce block train departures.

Although movement of goods is not affected by the border closure, logistics providers fear a total shortfall of truck drivers, who face a two-week voluntary quarantine after returning from international transports. In addition, only designated motorways may be used and assigned petrol stations may be approached.

The excellent hinterland infrastructure and well-established logistics chains make the port of Hamburg an attractive partner for Hungary. Hungary is a central hub for the distribution of international commodity flows within Europe. In 2019 some 119,000 TEU were transported between Hamburg and Hungary, of which around 118,000 TEU were transported by rail. The effects of the coronavirus are expected to cause a slump in this market.

At present, however, it is difficult to estimate how much damage will be caused with regard to freight transport and the economy.

The latest news regarding the situation in our market region you can find
on the continuously updated Website of the German Chamber of Foreign Trade

Press contact

  • Bengt van Beuningen

    Bengt van Beuningen

    +49 40 37709 102