200 Years Of Hamburg Shipping
Hamburg is a great seaport lying eighty miles from the open sea along the Elbe, with the old city on the north bank of the river and the large open dock and basin system on the south of the river. It is unlike the Thames and London with its closed system of docks behind lock gates. Hamburg was a leading member of the Hanseatic League and an independent trading city, and in 1945 became a city state of the Federal Republic. Shipping and trading continue to play a dominant role in the modern economy of the city, with a huge total of 120 million tonnes of cargo passing through the Port of Hamburg each year. Ten thousand vessels call each year at the 320 berths and 66 miles of quays. Responsibility for the dredging of the river up to the port was taken over by the German Government in 1921, and a good depth of water is provided by the Free Port of Hamburg. Shipowners and merchants such as August Bolten and Robert Miles Sloman obtained their cargoes in the bourses of the old city two hundred years ago, and this same practice is still carried on today.
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