Importance for Vienna
The Hafen Wien is already the largest port on the Danube in Eastern Austria and its diverse logistical capabilities and capacities continue to be enlarged. Although it is 2,000 km from the Black Sea and 1,500 km from the North Sea, it has the great advantage of being the largest trimodal logistics centre in Austria, bringing together road, rail and water transportation and making it the ideal place for the transportation of goods and for container storage, trade and management.
Apart from Wiener Hafen group, a member of the Wien Holding group, there are a further 120 private companies located in an area of 3 million square meters, including around forty transportation companies renting premises and taking advantage of the economic benefits of the site. Facilities available for rent range from small offices to storage space, car, and HGV garages or large sites for entire companies. The port of Vienna provides jobs for 5,000 people, making it an important source of employment for the entire region.
Logistics transhipment centre
The port of Vienna handles 12 million tons of freight annually, 50 per cent by road, 35 per cent by rail, and 15 per cent by river. In 2008 some 60,000 lorries were handled. Every week 85 container trains travel to the major European ports such as Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Duisburg, or to the Eastern European hubs of Bratislava and Budapest. This makes the Hafen Wien a central interface for overseas container traffic, which will be further developed through additional rail connections to Cologne and Sopron.
Many of the goods sold or processed in Vienna are now handled by the Hafen Wien, as can be seen from the 350,000 container units that are dealt with every year. Bulk commodities and general cargo ranging from raw materials and fertilisers to construction materials, fuel, road salt and grain are handled reliably and professionally there. The importance of the Hafen Wien is also well illustrated by the fact that one in five cars passes through the Hafen Wien on its way to dealers and customers.
Climate and environmental protection
Combined transportation is now a routine logistical task and container handling continues to grow steadily. The Hafen Wien develops comprehensive logistical solutions with a view to protecting man and nature by modernising transportation. Mineral oil products, building materials and agricultural products in particular are transported by water, relieving congestion on the roads, on almost 1,200 vessels to the Hafen Wien, where around 350,000 container units per year are available. Since 2006 the container terminal has been upgraded, the warehouses enlarged, the infrastructure for rail and road improved, the crane facilities replaced and the flood protection optimised. The crane terminal was expanded in April 2013 to include a third container crane bridge.
In recent years, 30,000 sq m of harbour basin has been filled in Freudenau Harbour in order to create new transfer and storage spaces. By 2015, another 40,000 sq m were filled;
The year 1830 was catastrophic for Vienna. "Leopoldstadt [Vienna´s 2nd district] is a dreadful sight: broken ships and materials in the streets, ground floors flooded with all kinds of goods floating in the water." The apocalyptic report written in 1848 by the poet Franz Grillparzer became even sharper as he mentioned the spoilage and the many dead bodies on the street. The "terrible ice drift" in 1830 was in fact ice floes wedged into meter-high formations, causing the river and its tributaries to back up and the banks to overflow in a flood wave. Following the regulation of the Danube there are no longer any ice floes, but the Danube and its tributaries sometimes still freeze over to a thickness of several centimetres. The icebreaker MS Eisvogel is then in action for hours at a time keeping the navigation channels around the port free of ice. While passenger shipping is suspended, some 400 cargo vessels are handled in Vienna in the winter.