Container port


The endless rows of colourful containers have been a characteristic feature of Nordhavn's identity for decades. The containers can still be seen in Nordhavn, but over the years they have moved further and further to the north.

The container terminal is currently located on Levantkaj at Orientbassinet. Copenhagen Malmö Port, which handles the container traffic in Nordhavn, receives approximately 150,000 20-foot containers (TEU) annually, the majority of them in Nordhavn.

The containers will remain in Nordhavn, but as the urban development gradually approaches, all container handling will be moved to the completely new land area that is being reclaimed at the north-eastern end of Nordhavn.

Read more about the land reclamation project in Nordhavn

A 700 metre long container terminal with associated warehousing will be established at the end of the recently constructed cruise ship quay.

From Gummi Tarzan (1981) to The Killing III (2012), the container port has played a significant role in depictions of the harbour environment.  

Read more about container handling on CMP's website.

Know your container

  • TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) is a measurement unit for shipping containers, which correspond to a standard 20-foot container designed according to ISO guidelines. 

  • The standard mesurements for a 20 foot container are usually 6.10 m long x 2.44 m wide x 2.59 m high, a total of about 39 cubic meters. This correspond to about 3,600 shoe boxes.

  • A standard container can be used for more than 20 years.

  • The first container was invented and patented in 1956 by the American Malcolm McLean.

  • Most IO containers have a unique letter/number combination, a so-called BIC code, which makes it possible to track them around the world. The code has a standard format [XXX-U-123456-1]. The first three letters indicate the owner, the next letter indicates the category (U=freight container, J = cargo related equipment, Z = trailer or chassis), followed by a six-digit serial number and a final check digit. 

  • There are estimated to be approximately 600 million containers in the world today.

In addition to freight, containers are used for a variety of purposesworldwide. See examples of some of them here.