Emder harbor

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Coordinates: 53 ° 20 ′ 39.8 ″  N , 7 ° 12 ′ 0 ″  E

The specialty chalk manufacturer OMYA produces in the port of Emden

The port of the city of Emden is a seaport at the mouth of the Ems in the North Sea . It is the westernmost seaport on the coast of Germany; In 2011 it achieved an annual turnover of around 6.29 million tons . The main handling products are motor vehicles , forest products and wind turbines . When it comes to motor vehicles, the port of Emden is the third largest in Europe in terms of handling figures (2018: 1.36 million vehicles, 2017: 1,447,668, 2016: 1,333,782, 2015: 1,406,807 vehicles) after Zeebrugge and Bremerhaven and ahead of Antwerp .

In 2019, sea freight throughput amounted to 4.4 million tons (in 2017 it was 5.08 million tons, 2016: 4.33 million tons, 2015: 4.29 million tons). The operator of the port of Emden is Niedersachsen Ports .

Emden is also an important ferry port to the North Sea island of Borkum . The port is connected to the railway network with the Emden Außenhafen station indirectly via the Emden main station.


Nordseewerke gantry crane
A catamaran from Reederei AG Ems on Borkumkai
Handling of rotors for wind turbines made by Enercon from Aurich am Nordkai on the EPAS site
A RoRo ship loaded with a vehicle leaves the Emden outer harbor, on the right the west pier (port entrance).
The Cassens shipyard seen from the harbor side
Great sea lock
Link between the seaport and inland waterways: the Borssum lock
Enercon wind energy plant E 112 on the Ems in Emden, one of the first so-called "near-shore wind energy plants" in Germany

The port has always been the lifeblood of the city - without it it would not have come into being. The port goes back to the beginning of the settlement of what is today the urban area of ​​Emden: Around the year 800 a Frisian trading settlement emerged on the northern bank of the mouth of the Ems. Around 1600 the port of Emden was one of the most important in Northern Europe. Since around 1900 the seaport of Emden has developed into a modern transshipment point, which also attracted industrial settlements. In addition to the shipyards , the Volkswagen factory in Emden should be mentioned here: In 1964, the VW Group made a conscious decision in favor of a port city as its new production site - without the port, East Frisia's largest industrial employer by far would not have even settled in Emden. Thus almost the entire economic life of the city depends - directly and indirectly - on the port. The port of Emden is the third largest port on the German North Sea coast in terms of area.


The history of the port of Emden can be divided into two parts: on the one hand, from the development of a Frisian trading settlement around the year 800 to around 1870. In the 1750s, the ships of the Emden East Asian trading company made trips to Canton in China from here . Since the end of the 19th century , the port's image has changed into a modern industrial port.

For almost the entire 20th century, Emden was known as the "seaport of the Ruhr area ". Coal from the Ruhr area was transported to Emden partly by rail, partly via the Dortmund-Ems Canal , and in the opposite direction, imported iron ore for the steel industry in the Ruhr area was shipped there via Emden. The ore was mainly handled on the south quay built between 1913 and 1926.

The last ore freighter moored in Emden in 1986. Rotterdam had overtaken Emden for these products. Four reasons played a key role: Firstly, the large bulk carriers could not (any longer) call at the port of Emden due to their draft and had to be costly “emptied” near Borkum, which means that barges already took over part of the cargo there. A freighter could only call at the port of Emden after it had been “lightened”.

In addition, the inland waterways got bigger and bigger, so that the Dortmund-Ems Canal (and its locks ) were no longer sufficient for new generations of inland waterways. The Europeanization of traffic flows did the rest, as did the decline of the steel industry, especially in the eastern part of the Ruhr area. The blast furnaces in Duisburg , the most important steel location in Germany, are easier to reach via the Rhine .

Vehicle handling is now the most important pillar of the Emden port. The models of the VW group (including subsidiaries) are imported and exported via Emden, which makes the port of Emden the third largest car loading port in Europe (after Bruges port Zeebrugge and Bremerhaven ). Other handling products include forest products and liquid chalk (both for the UPM Nordland Papier paper mill in Dörpen ) as well as building materials, grain, magnesium chloride , mineral oil and petroleum products, iron and steel.

For some years now, Emden has also been active as a transshipment port for wind turbines . These come from the manufacturer Enercon in neighboring Aurich , which are exported from the port of Emden. The BARD company also manufactured wind energy systems in the port of Emden. Emden is currently being set up as a base port for offshore wind energy systems in the North Sea.

Another large industrial employer was the North Sea Works . In the former large shipyard, 700 employees manufactured parts for offshore wind turbines at peak times. Around 60 employees produce ship parts for Meyer Werft on the site. Shipyard operations (without new buildings, only repairs and conversions) will be continued on the site by Emder Werft und Dockbetriebe GmbH .

In the port area, various companies are involved in the handling of the above-mentioned goods, including Emder Verkehrs und Automotive Gesellschaft mbH (EVAG), Anker Schifffahrt GmbH , EPAS (shipping of wind turbines) and several forwarding companies.

The free port in Emden was dissolved on January 1, 2010.

Envelope Numbers

The port throughput in Emden in 2010 was 6.46 million tons. After the crisis in 2009, maritime traffic achieved a turnover increase of 17.7% in 2010 with 4.277 million tons. In 2011, the throughput of maritime traffic at the Lower Saxony Port Emden rose by 4.4% to 4.47 million tons, in 2012 an increase in throughput of around two percent to 4.5 million tons was achieved. In 2013 and 2014 only 4.4 million t were achieved in sea cargo handling, in 2015 it was only 4.29 million t. In 2016, the handling of sea freight amounted to 4.33 million t, of which 2.68 million t was general cargo. These included 332,800 t of pulp (+ 58%) and 168,894 t of wind energy components (+ 5%). In 2017 sea freight throughput amounted to 5.08 million t, of which 2.99 million t was general cargo and 1.2 million t of solid bulk cargo.

The transshipment of wind energy components in maritime traffic in 2013 was 267,696 tonnes (2012: 167,931 t; 2011: 154,865 t).

In maritime transport, chalk, forest products, stone and earth and motor vehicles dominate imports, while motor vehicles are by far the most important for exports. In inland traffic, stones and earth, chalk, mineral oils and mineral oil products as well as forest products are at the forefront at the goods entrance, while chalk and forest products are far ahead at the goods exit - both for the Dörpen paper mill.

With 1.086 million vehicles handled, the port of Emden slightly exceeded the result of 2007 (1.083 million) in 2010, in 2012 it was already 1.26 million in 2013 1.23 million automobiles, 1.407 million in 2015, around 1.334 million in 2016 In 2017 exactly 1,447,668 vehicles. The majority of the vehicles shipped come from Volkswagen.

Port infrastructure

The port of Emden can be reached seaward through two locks . The older and smaller Nesserlander Schleuse (built 1883–1888) is primarily used for inland and sport shipping as well as for water level regulation in the port. However, it was closed to shipping for some time due to construction work. By 2018, the entrance width was increased to 18 meters and the chamber length to 180 meters. The large sea lock is used for sea and partly also for inland shipping. With a length of 260 meters, it was considered the largest sea lock of its kind for some time after its completion in 1913.

The port has a total area of ​​730 hectares, including 210 hectares of water. The quay length in the inland port is 7.3 kilometers, that in the outer port (beyond the sea locks, i.e. directly on the Ems) is 1.6 kilometers.

The port has several RoRo ramps, a container -Verladebrücke and several cranes for loading bulk material , as well as the Emden outer harbor a passenger station at Borkumkai in close proximity to the ferry the AG Ems to the island of Borkum .

The Ems traffic center of the Waterways and Shipping Office (WSA) Emden an der Knock is responsible for the radar monitoring and control of shipping ( Vessel Traffic Service ) of the entire Ems estuary as part of a German-Dutch cooperation .

The following are the individual port sections, in some cases with the names of cargo handled, companies and institutions operating there, as well as port infrastructure. The overview does not claim to be complete:

  • Emspier : since 2004, located directly on the Ems, 250 meters quay length
  • Emskai : (RoRo) motor vehicles (VW), military goods during missions abroad by the British armed forces in Germany, paper
  • Outer port : motor vehicles, grain
  • Borkumkai : ferry service to the island of Borkum ( Reederei AG Ems ), several RoRo bridges
  • 1. Port basin : currently unused
  • 2. Port basin : shipbuilding ( Cassens shipyard ), docks and crane systems
  • 3. Port basin : Emder Yachtservice, service facilities, crane systems
  • Neptundock : Berths for construction vehicles on pontoons (construction company Gebr. Neumann )
  • Old inland port : sport shipping (management of the berths by Reederei AG Ems )
  • Railway dock : currently unused, new construction of residential houses on the water ( New Delft construction project )
  • Old dock / tonnage yard: operating areas of the Emden waterways and shipping office
  • New inland port : several jetties for pleasure craft , berths for construction vehicles on pontoons (construction company vd Linde )
  • Inland port / industrial port / branch canal: shipbuilding ( Nordseewerke ), several Hellings , 400-ton gantry crane, other shipyard cranes, dry dock , floating dock
  • Branch channel : building material and oil product handling, crane systems
  • Borssum port : building material handling, crane systems
  • Marine quay : currently unused
  • Oil port : Handling of magnesium chloride and liquid chalk ( Omya ), handling facilities for loading liquid goods
  • Terminal I : (RoRo) motor vehicles ( EVAG )
  • Inland ship basin : biomass handling for the power plant located there ( E.ON , EWE AG and Stadtwerke Emden )
  • Nordkai : container handling; Handling of wind turbines ( EPAS for the manufacturer Enercon )
  • Jarßumer Hafen : Handling of wind turbines ( BARD Engineering ), handling of towers for wind turbines ( Enercon )
  • Südkai : building materials, several loading bridges for bulk goods / bulk goods
  • New inland port : berths for tugs


In addition to the handling of goods, the port of Emden is also of considerable importance for tourism . For a place in the outer harbor the ferries to the North Sea island of Borkum from, on the other hand the harbor for Skipper makes the passage of butene (lake) to within ( inland waterways in East Friesland).

In addition, old areas that are no longer used for the handling of goods are used for recreational shipping and also for urban development (see district articles, authorities district and Klein-Faldern ).

See also


  • Ralf Witthohn: Emden - Green Wind . In: Deutsche Seeschifffahrt , Heft 6/2010, pp. 28–31, Storck, Hamburg, ISSN  0948-9002

Web links

Commons : Emder Hafen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Annual report 2011 . ( Memento of the original from April 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 109 kB) Emder Hafenförderungsgesellschaft eV; Retrieved December 15, 2012  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.seaport-emden.de
  2. Differentiated picture in the development of the envelope . In: Schiff & Hafen , issue 4/2014, pp. 44–47, here p. 47
  3. Thomas Wägener: The rolling freight business is booming . In: Hansa , issue 7/2019, pp. 74–77
  4. Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: Lower Saxony's ports trust in diversity . In: Daily port report of March 7, 2018, p. 3
  5. Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: Emden remains Europe's number 3 car hub . In: Daily port report , July 13, 2016, p. 3
  6. ^ Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: Lower Saxony's ports are growing . In: Daily port report of February 13, 2020, p. 1
  7. ^ Peter Kleinort: Economic reconstruction weighs on ports . In: Daily port report , February 28, 2017, p. 3
  8. Emden ( Memento of the original from September 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Lower Saxony Ports; Retrieved March 21, 2012 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.nports.de
  9. TÜV closes the loading bridge on the south quay . In: Ostfriesen-Zeitung of February 16, 2013, accessed on February 17, 2013
  10. ^ Law to abolish the free ports of Emden and Kiel . (PDF; 24 kB) Federal Ministry of Justice
  11. ↑ Increased handling in Lower Saxony's seaports . Seaports of Lower Saxony; Retrieved June 3, 2013
  12. Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: Ports want to grow sustainably . In: Daily port report , February 17, 2015, p. 3
  13. ^ Peter Kleinort: Economic reconstruction weighs on ports . In: Daily port report , February 28, 2017, p. 3
  14. Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: Lower Saxony's ports trust in diversity . In: Daily port report of March 7, 2018, p. 3
  15. Different development of the turnover figures. Balance 2012 . In: Schiff & Hafen , issue 5/2013, pp. 16/17
  16. New record in car handling in Emden . In: General-Anzeiger , January 4, 2013; Retrieved January 4, 2013
  17. Michael Meyer: Emden does not benefit from the export plus . In: Daily port report , January 7, 2014, p. 1/3
  18. Frank Binder: Emden: Fewer cars handled . In: Daily port report , August 15, 2017, p. 4
  19. Balance sheet of the German seaports 2010 . In: Hansa , issue 4/2011, pp. 63/64