Container-Terminal "Wilhelm Kaisen"
Only a short time after the first call of a US container vessel at Bremen, Bremerhaven took the first step towards becoming a leading container port in the North Sea region. In 1968 the first small terminal was inaugurated in the Nordhafen basin together with a Ro/Ro facility. But far more significant was the start of construction of the first large container terminal situated directly on the river. In April 1971, the first container terminal (CT I) began operation. But its capacity was limited.
From 1978 to 1984, the second terminal (CT II) was built to the north, adjacent to the first one. In all, the total area then comprised 1.8 million square metres. The quay measured 2800 metres in length, and the crane capacity consisted of 18 container bridges. The total turnover at Bremerhaven developed from about 284 000 TEU in 1968 to about 692 000 TEU in 1983. In 1990, the two terminals reached the benchmark of 1.1 million TEU. This meant that the storage capacity available had reached its limits. A third terminal (CT III) was planned, and after some preliminary works, construction was commenced in October 1994. In July 1997, the terminal went into operation and in December the same year, it was completely operational. An extension project (CT III a) followed from 2001 to 2003. The longest riverside quay of Europe was thus lengthened by 340 metres. The total container turnover at Bremerhaven in 2000 (2.72 million TEU) brought the port to place 18 in the world container port rankings. In 2002, Bremerhaven was rated as the fourth largest container port in Europe. In 2004 the total turnover climbed to 3.5 million TEU. An increase to up to 6 million per annum is anticipated.
Between 2004 and 2008 another terminal (CT 4) was built, the quay has a length of 1,681 meters and thus holds four new berths. It was ready for operation in 2008. The mighty Bremerhaven container terminal serves as a link between overseas container trade and a subsequent network of feeder services to European destinations. These additional links are served by smaller container vessels, the so called “feeders”.
In addition to Bremerhaven as well as the participation of the local port industry in Wilhelmshaven a deep water port (JadeWeserPort) was created, which opened in September 2012. The "JadeWeserPort" suitable for extra large container carriers.
The Bremerhaven terminal received its present name on August 1st 1980, honouring the legendary Bremen Mayor (1945 to 1965) Wilhelm Kaisen (1887 to 1979), who is still well remembered here.