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Bremerhaven as a port for ore, cars and fruit

From 1963 to 1964, an ore terminal was constructed at the Osthafen basin. In 1965, it went into operation. Around four million tons per annum were handled there in 1979. Most of the ore went to the Klöckner steel mill in Bremen. Beginning in 1983, discussions arose about transferring the unloading of the ore directly to the Bremen plant. From August 1991 on, the shipment of ore gradually shifted to the Bremen Osterort terminal adjacent to the steel mill. On June 10th 1993, the last ore train left the Bremerhaven terminal. Later, that wharf was put into use as a car terminal, which went into operation on June 12th 1995.

The new lease of life of the former ore terminal is evidence of a further significant function of the Bremerhaven ports: as a terminal for car carriers. Those clumsy-looking vessels with their large superstructure void of portholes are able to stow their cargo that way because cars are a comparatively light cargo: more or less tinned space. Since the 1960s, more and more cars have been shipped from Bremerhaven. A first dedicated terminal began operation in 1964 in the Nordhafen basin. Import and export cars are driven on and off the ship, so extensive handling gear is not necessary. In 2005, 1.5 million cars were handled at Bremerhaven. Besides the vast parking area, seven large multi-storey facilities offer covered parking for 40,000 vehicles in all.

In 1926, a fruit terminal for bananas went into operation at Kaiserhafen III. In some years, about half of all tropical fruit consumed in West Germany was imported via this centre. Derelict after 1987, the shed was demolished in 1992. A new fruit terminal was completed in 1984. In 2005, about 4000 tons of tropical fruit was imported via Bremerhaven.

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