Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
The Verband der Deutschen Hafenkapitäne is registered at the district court of the Hanseatic City of Rostock.
The aims of the Association are to:
Regular Members of the VDHK e.V. are Harbour Masters and /or directors of port administrations of the German seaports, including inland-waterway ports accommodating ships larger than 500 GRT and enforcing the port regulations in a defined geographical port area.
Contact the German Harbour Masters’ Association via email.
Depending on size, functionality and the legal framework, Harbour Masters of the German ports have different tasks to fulfil. The following gives an impression of the main tasks to be fulfilled by Harbour Masters and their co-workers:
The primary task of the Harbour Master is to arrange for a safe and easy flow of ships traffic. This includes on a 24/7 basis receiving arrival and departure notifications from ships or their representatives and coordinating, together the federal waterway administration, the passage to and from the berths in the port.
In the majority of ports the Harbour Masters are tasked as competent authorities for the supervision and control of rules and regulations with regards to the transport and handling of dangerous goods.
To control the compliance with the various environmental regulations shipping is subject to, is often the task of the Harbour Master’s office. Together with the environmental authorities, pollution prevention and combat are also part of the tasks.
Together with the police authorities implementation and supervision of the measures as per ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) and relevant EU legislation is conducted.
Pilotage, towage and mooring are essential for the safe conduct of ship manoeuvres. Masters of ships using these services expect a certain quality of these services. Depending on the port legislation permissions to conduct these services are issued by the Harbour Master, who also supervises compliance.
In some ports the Harbour Master is also responsible for the operation of port facilities, e.g. cruise ship and pleasure boat facilities. Usually, the Harbour Master is also consulted to evaluate suitability of constructions in the port area.
If you would like to have more detailed information about the tasks of the Harbour Master and the port authority in a specific port, please, contact the port directly. Please use the list of port addresses below whose Harbour Masters are members of the German Harbour Masters’ Association.
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Brake
Hansestadt Bremisches Hafenamt
Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG
Am Schleusenpriel 2
Duisburger Hafen AG
Alte Ruhrorter Str. 42-52
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Emden
Scandlines Deutschland GmbH
Stadt Flensburg Hafenbehörde
Hamburg Port Authority
Neuer Wandrahm 4
Hafenbehörde im Landesbetrieb für Küstenschutz, Nationalpark und Meeresschutz Schleswig-Holstein (LKN-SH)
Hafenamt Landeshauptstadt Kiel
Lübeck Port Authority
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Norden
Hafenbehörde Amt Eiderkanal
Hansestadt Rostock Hafen- und Seemannsamt
Ost-West-Str. 8 18147
PO Box 481046 18132
Stadtverwaltung Sassnitz Hafenamt<
PO Box 11
Hansestadt Stralsund Hafenamt
Hafenstr. 50 18439
PO Box 2145 18408
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Wilhelmshaven
Hansestadt Wismar Hafenamt
Kopenhagener Str, 1 Bürocenter
In the current context, marked by the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, terminals are showing a considerable drop in overall port volumes. This is associated with a decline in economic activity, and with a large number of blank sailings due to shipping lines’ attempts to align capacity with existing demand.
However, the paradox is that despite the fact that calls and volume arriving at the Port of Barcelona's BEST terminal have decreased, moves per call have significantly increased. This was reported from the port on 29 June.
During week 23 (1-7 June), BEST terminal welcomed the largest vessel to call at the Port of Barcelona, MSC Sixin, with a capacity of almost 24,000 TEU.
Subsequently, similar ships from the 2M alliance (Maersk + MSC) have been arriving on a recurring basis on passage between the Far East and Europe, grouping together all the moves that a few weeks ago were made between different services of the same alliance and which were cancelled due to the exceptional situation currently experienced.
During May and June, BEST terminal saw how the number of moves per call had broken all existing records in the Port of Barcelona – starting with almost 8,000 moves in week 22, all move records broken to reach almost 8,500 moves in week 24.
This change in demand, with large cargo concentration peaks on large deep sea vessels and a smaller number of calls, directly impacts on the way terminals must approach the services they offer.
It was found that the way to put forward a valuable proposal to shipping lines with these types of calls, is to offer productivity per call that exceeds by far the average efficiency in container terminals. With this in mind, it is important to highlight the relevance of the important investments made by BEST, both in the number of cranes capable of operating these types of ship, and in the terminal operating system (TOS) at all levels.
Classification Society ClassNK announced from Tokyo on 2 July that it had released its annual report on Port State Control.
This document aims to assist ship operators and management companies in maintaining compliant operations by providing information about ships detained by PSC as well as deficiencies that were found on board from many port states in 2019.
In line with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, PSC inspections ensure that vessels departing the port meet international standards and have proved to be highly effective in eliminating substandard ships that are in operation. They oversee not only the hardware of a ship, but also the software by examining the maintenance and operation methods being used. In addition to various figures, status of implementation and recent developments in PSC worldwide are included.
This Annual Report on Port State Control (PSC) summarises deficiencies identified during PSC inspections carried out in various countries around the world.
Class NK has prepared it with the objective of building awareness with the present state of PSC and thereby improving future onboard maintenance and inspections, and as well as Safety Management System.