GAC Germany, a leading provider of shipping and logistics services in Northern Europe, is set to open a new office in Stade on 1 January 2024 as the company looks to expand its presence in the region to meet growing demand for services to support Germany’s shipping and energy sectors.
With direct access to the North Sea, the Port of Stade is the third-largest port in Niedersachsen by cargo handling volume and is situated on the River Elbe, between Hamburg – the home of GAC Germany’s main office – and Cuxhaven. Due to its non-tidal access for ocean-going vessels, it has long been a popular port of choice for dry bulk, barge and general cargo vessels, handling 1,000 port calls and 5.6 million tonnes of cargo in 2022.
The port is also set to play a major role in Germany’s quest to increase LNG import capacity as it is positioned to serve the Hanseatic Energy Hub, a future-flexible LNG terminal that is currently under development.
With the launch of the new office, GAC Germany will be strategically positioned to serve both existing dry bulk customers, liquid bulk customers and future gas carrier clients at Stade, offering a range of ship agency and logistics services. GAC’s office in Stade will be run by Ronald Kleinitzke, a shipping industry veteran of more than 20 years of experience who has a wealth of knowledge of Stade, the local region and surrounding ports.
“With the growth of LNG infrastructure progressing apace in Germany, it is strategically imperative for us to be present in Stade,” says Thies Holm, General Manager of GAC Germany. “We have supported LNG carriers in the region with ship agency services for a number of years but we believe that the time is right for us to establish a permanent base alongside the land-based terminal to extend our industry-leading ship agency services as Germany’s LNG capacity expands.
“We are committed to supporting our ship owner and ship management customers wherever they go. With significantly more vessels set to call at Stade and the surrounding area, we will now be better placed to serve them in true GAC style,” he added.
Germany’s LNG expansion
Germany has made significant progress to bolster its LNG capacity in 2023 as it looks to become more energy independent.
The Hanseatic Energy Hub is one of the country’s main future LNG terminals. The facility is expected to cost approximately €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) and is set to commence operations in 2027. The hub is designed to secure 15% of Germany’s existing LNG demand, as well as handle other low-carbon energy sources, and support its green energy transition, enabling the development of hydrogen production.
Strategically located at the Port of Stade, the Hanseatic Energy Hub will also include a storage facility, a truck-loading facility and a jetty for bunkering vessels.
Until the fixed terminals are operational, Germany is using three floating storage and regasification terminals (FSRUs) at the ports of Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuettel and Lubmin to handle incoming LNG supplies.