Main Cargoes

Ferry and ro-ro traffic as driver of growth in Rostock

The ferry terminal provides five landing stages. Berth 64 is equipped for handling of railway wagons. An overpass leads directly from the ferry terminal to A19 and A20 motorways.

With the ro-ro-terminal, provides four berths, and the terminal for intermodal traffic in direct vicinity Rostock has everything it needs to continue developing its solid position as a ferry hub and ro-ro-hub for the Baltic Sea.

Handling of wheeled cargo, i.e. ferry and ro-ro goods again increased in 2018. All told the amount went up by 600,000 tonnes to 16.9 million tonnes (+4 percent). The share of wheeled cargo in the total handling of Rostock overseas port thus amounted to 66 percent.

In particular the number of truck units carried on the ferry and ro-ro connections to and from northern Europe increased significantly: from 383,373 in 2017 to 406,223 last year. That means a plus of six percent. There was also a slight increase in the number of trailers handled: from 127,968 to 128,877 last year.

An increase of six percent to 570,600 compared to 2017 was also notched up in the number of cars, mobile homes and caravans carried. The high growth rates in accompanied truck and car traffic were again the highlights of the cargo trend at the overseas port in 2018.  In particular, the performance of the traffic to and from Denmark and Sweden should be emphasized.

The number of ferry passengers carried on the services to northern Europe achieved a new top score of 2.55 million travellers.

The number of railway wagons carried to and from Trelleborg also increased from 14,564 to 15,605 (+6.5%).

900,500 tonnes of paper and cellulose were loaded and unloaded at the overseas port in 2018 and thus almost eight percent more than in 2017. The lion's share of the paper handling is provided by UPM. The Finnish paper group concentrated its paper business in the southern Baltic at Rostock in early 2015.

Intermodal Transport

The efficient handling terminal for rail, road and seaborne cargo was upgraded until March 2014 on an area of around 30,000 square metres. The whole intermodal terminal covers approx. 70,000 square metres.

Five tracks will be served by two gantry cranes able to drive curves. So the port of Rostock is prepared for further increases in the amounts of wheeled cargo.

Handling of intermodal load units in Intermodal Transport in the year 2018 was on the level of the previous year at 80,000 units.

Currently there are 37 intermodal trains operating weekly to and from Verona (14), Cervignano (3) and Treviso (2) in Italy, to and from Hamburg (3), Karlsruhe (3), Wuppertal (3) and Halle/Schkopau (2) as well as to and from Brno (6) in the Czech Republic and Curtici (1) in Romania.

Declining numbers in the first six months of 2018 are in particular due to the discontinuation of the service between Rostock and Wels in Austria at the turn of the year 2017/18 and to the reduction of the service to the Ruhr to three departures per week.

It is all the more gratifying that new intermodal connections to northern Italy and south-eastern Europe were opened in the second half of 2018. These two intermodal train concepts with three weekly round trips between Rostock and Cervignano (Italy) and one departure per week to Curtici (Romania) were initiated by the Austrian Intermodal specialist LKW WALTER. It has also been possible to steadily extend the block train connection of Stena Line, DEUCON and Pressnitztalbahn between Rostock and various destinations in central Germany.

With the new intermodal connections all partners managed to initiate a reversal of the trend from the middle of the year onwards and get back to the level of the previous year. In the new year individual train services are to be given a greater frequency and further destinations are to be added.

Bulk Cargo

The port has an open storage capacity of 420,000 m² as well as a covered storage capacity of 55,000 m² available for bulk goods.

In addition to the handling of coal, building materials, fertiliser and grain are among the most important bulk cargo handled in the Port of Rostock.

Dry bulk handling in 2018 was 17 percent below the level of the previous year with a total of 5.8 million tonnes handled. Especially the handling of wheat, barley and rapeseed was very much on the decline. Compared to 2017, around 700,000 tonnes less were shipped in this division.

Coal / Construction Materials

A daily volume of up to 20,000 tonnes of coal can be discharged at berths 23 and 24. Overhead cranes are used at berth 22 for the unloading of limestone, gravel chippings and sea gravel. The handling of such materials is centred around the coal terminal with a capacity of 240,000 tonnes of hard coal. Conveyor belts supply the neighbouring 500 MW hard coal fired power plant as well as additional recipients.

At berth 21, a crane with an hourly output of up to 700 tonnes as well as a preparation plant for see gravel is available.

Compared to 2017 losses of handling amounts in 2018 occurred in cement (-32%) and coal (-30%). In case of cement the high demand of the domestic building industry led to shrinking exports while the import of coal was negatively influenced by the audit of the coal-fired power station in Rostock, which went on for months. 

The handling of building materials showed a positive trend overall.


The fertiliser quay is equipped with a loading facility (hourly output of 1,000 tonnes), railway car unloading station, conveyor belt system and storage depot with a capacity of 55,000 tonnes. The main commodity here is calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) which is produced the nearby fertiliser plant.

Losses of handling amounts occurred in the handling of fertilizer (-7%). Planned maintenance work at the fertilizer plant in Rostock was responsible for a decline in fertilizer exports.


Silos with a capacity of 656,000 tonnes as well as facilities for loading and unloading ships, trucks and railway cars ensure skilled handling and fast throughput of goods. Three ship loading facilities with an hourly output of up to 1,200 tonnes are available for grain export. Vessels are discharged via two unloading facilities with a capacity of up to 350 respectively 600 tonnes per hour. A system of conveyor belts ensures the efficient moving of grain from the silos to the ships.

Especially the handling of wheat, barley and rapeseed was very much on the decline. Compared to 2017, around 700,000 tonnes less were shipped in this Division. With an annual result of approx. 2.3 million tonnes grain handling remains the main dry bulk cargo at the overseas port despite declines in wheat and barley export.

One of the most modern malt houses in Europe is located adjacent to the grain harbour. It has its own silo with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes and is connected with the silo facility at the port thus ensuring the rapid intake of brewer?s barley as well as an equally rapid output of goods.

With a capacity of 1,600 tonnes of processed canola seed per day the largest oil mill in Germany put into operation in August 2006. The investment cost totalled nearly 14 million Euros. The oil mill comprises the extraction facility, seed storage, seed processing plant, product storage and service Department.

General Cargo / High & Heavy

General Cargo

Pier II is the heart of general cargo handling. Here are mainly metals, forest products and project cargo loaded. But Pier II is mainly characterized by the transshipment of wind turbines.

Cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 100 tonnnes ensure the fast handling of goods. Starting in mid-2019, it will be possible to load goods of up to almost 300 tonnes by using two new mobile harbour cranes in tandem. Furthermore, there are three cranes available for loading and unloading at berth 16, which can be equipped with hooks or grapples. Here, among other things, sheet metal and pipes for EEW Special Pipe Construction GmbH are handled.

Three solid sheds, each 360 meters long, with land and water-side track and road connections, are used for transhipment and storage. A total of 600,000 square meters of open storage and 120,000 square meters of covered storage for general cargo are available at the Rostock seaport.

A year-on-year decline of 60,000 tonnes to 580,000 tonnes (- 8%) was recorded in 2018 for the handling of general cargo. While mainly the loading of pipes increased and the balance of zinc, wind turbines and cellulose was above the previous year's level, fewer rotor blades, crane systems and sheets were hoisted over the quay edges.

High & Heavy

With berths 10, 25 and 15, the port offers three berths for the handling of particularly large and heavy goods. At ​​berth 15, the heavy-duty areas will be further upgraded by ROSTOCK PORT GmbH. This is where a special quay with a heavy-duty rail track is being built for a Liebherr crane with a lifting capacity of up to 1,600 tonnes, which will go into Operation middle of the year. This will improve the possibilities for handling extremely heavy project cargo as well as the attractiveness of the location for further company relocations for the production and assembly of heavy Cargo.

Liquid Cargo

The oil harbour possesses a tank store with a capacity of 700,000 cubic meters available for the storage and throughput of mineral oils such as heating oil, diesel and motor fuel. Crude oil, liquid fertiliser and other liquids are handled here as well.

The berths at the oil harbour can accommodate 6 tankers with up to 100,000 tonnes and has a handling capacity of up to 6,000 tonnes per hour. The handling of liquids occurs by means of tank car, pipelines (Schwedt, Böhlen) and by tank truck.

A neutral service company, Großtanklager Ölhafen Rostock GmbH, is the operator of the oil harbour and provides services for all mineral oil companies using the Port of Rostock.

The oil harbour is also the location of a biodiesel plant with an annual capacity of 150,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 18,000 tonnes of glycerine.

At 2.3 million tonnes the handling of liquid goods was about 400,000 tonnes below the level of last year. The declines resulted mainly from cargo shortfalls in the import of naphtha. These were caused by maintenance work at the location of the chemical company DOW in Böhlen, Saxony. In 2018 Rostock handled more ethanol but less fuel oil, gas oil/diesel fuel and petrol.