In Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea, construction work will soon begin on the Jade-Weser port, Europe's biggest infrastructure project. This new container terminal, with berths of 18-meter depth and a turning area of 700 meters in diameter, can accommodate the latest generation of large freighters and container vessels. It will be the only German port into which these gigantic ships can easily sail, thanks to the natural deep-sea harbor in which the water is 18 meters deep even at low tide.
Construction of the Jade-Weser port, Europe's biggest port complex, is scheduled to start this very year, with operations due to begin by the year 2010. Politicians are already calling this deep-sea port construction project the most important infrastructure project in northwest Germany. Wolfgang Tiefensee, the Federal Minister of Transport, even referred to the Jade-Weser port as a national task comparable to the Frankfurt or Munich airport terminals. The project will cost approximately €950 million in total. The two North German states of Bremen and Lower Saxony are each investing €440 million, as are also the shareholders of the project development company responsible for implementation.
Bremen's policymakers and marketers unanimously agree that construction of the Jade-Weser port offers excellent prospects for the state of Bremen. "The new deep-sea port will reinforce Bremen's function as a logistics hub for northern Europe because in the future distributors will be able to reach three booming seaports directly and quickly from Bremen, namely Hamburg, Bremerhaven, and the new Jade-Weser port in Wilhelmshaven," says Ulrich Keller, CEO of BIG Bremen Economic Development.
Although realization of the Jade-Weser deep-sea port still lies in the future, companies, investors, and project developers are already discovering many advantages and positive impacts for their business operations in Bremen. The most important locational factors offered by Bremen are its efficient rail, water, and air links, as well as its central position between the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia on the one hand, and central Europe and the Benelux states on the other. More than 1,000 companies with a total work force in excess of 20,000 are also involved in the logistics industry and cover the entire value chain. Major logistics companies have their head offices in Bremen and some of the world's biggest logistics enterprises operate branch offices here.
Another one of Bremen's strengths is the availability of moderately priced land for logistics companies. For example, Bremen currently has more than 20.2 million square feet in hall space that can be used for logistics operations - an area equivalent to 351 American football fields.
The future prospects for Bremen as a center for logistics operations are good due to continuing growth in the international exchange of goods. This will not only result in greater cargo handling volumes, but will also benefit the transport industry. When the Jade-Weser port in Wilhelmshaven is added to the booming ports of Bremen in the year 2010, Bremen will have the greatest opportunity for maintaining its leading position within the international logistics industry.
Rene van den Hoevel, U.S. representative
BIG Bremen Economic Development
75 Broad St., 21st Fl.New York, NY 10004
Phone: 212-974-1883 Fax: 212-974-8864