History of the Port of Linz

Up until the late 1930ies and despite its ideal location, the provincial capital Linz did not have a port but only a reloading area on the bank of the river Danube itself. This reloading area with an embankment length of roughly 300 metres was dedicated to transhipment activities in 1894 and was located at Untere Donaulände, in front of the former brewery, at the site of today’s Lentos museum of contemporary art. Its four warehouses and four cranes soon became insufficient for handling large-scale transport activities. In order to manage the increasing amounts of goods to be reloaded, plans for new port facilities in the plains downstream of the shipyard had been developed since the early 20th century.

But it wasn’t until 1938 that the idea of a new port was implemented in conjunction with the development plans for Linz and the establishment of heavy industries by the Nazis. Due to the war, the initial project which comprised nine port basins and a surface of 260 hectares had to be resized. By 1942, only a three basin commercial port, a one basin industrial port and the tanker port had been built between the shipyard and the former nitrogen plant.

Since 1945

After World War II, the Austrian state, the federal province of Upper Austria and the city of Linz agreed to continue and complete the port of Linz. In 1948 already, the port was connected to the railway network. By the mid-1950ies, the basins had been expanded, a series of warehouses and silos constructed. These facilities were oriented towards the River Danube and served exclusively for the transhipment of goods. The main customers were the great industrial plants in Linz with their raw materials and finished products as well as the petroleum companies with their liquid products.

In 1953, the free port was established, which developed into today’s Österreichische Donaulager GmbH.

In 1966, VÖEST started operating its own corporate port. This led to the migration of mass bulk goods for this company from the public port of Linz to the corporate port. The port of Linz started following a new strategy of diversification, i.e. to concentrate also on other sectors, independent of the river Danube. In the course of the years, the port of Linz developed from a transhipment facility for the heavy industry in Linz to a transport and service hub in the central urban region of Upper Austrian.

1970 marked the beginning of container handling in the commercial port of Linz. Since 1979, a container crane has ensured lifting operations between water, rail and road. In 1983 a first, provisional ramp introduced roll-on/roll-off loading of ships. In 1988, the combined transport centre (today’s container terminal) including a definitive ro-ro ramp and the necessary parking facilities was finalised in the port of Linz.

In 1991, the first warehouse for hazardous substances went into operation, between 1999 and 2002, the existing container terminal was enlarged.

Due to the increasing demand for construction surfaces in the area of the port of Linz and the water surface of the port basins 1, 2 and 3 becoming obsolete, these basins were partly reclaimed in 2011 and 2012. Once this had been completed in 2013, the container terminal enlargement project was started – the biggest single-investment project in the history of the port of Linz.

In 2014, the Master Plan for the Port of Linz was presented to the public. Based on this master plan, the following years will be dedicated to the implementation of the ‘Projekt Neuland’, an urban development project diversifying the uses of the port area for businesses and the citizens of Linz.

Rene Hagenauer
Mag. Rene Hagenauer LINZ SERVICE Bereich Hafen
Regensburger Straße 3
4020 Linz
Tel. 0664/803406961
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