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Hamburg Port


Since the situation around novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving, we would like to keep you updated about how we at HPC make sure to provide our services and support to keep your operations running.

HPC Employee Travel

HPC will stop all business trips until further notice while we monitor the situation. Any essential travel required to support critical customer activities will be carried out in close coordination with our customers and HPC management. The good health and safety of our employees and yours are the primary goals.

HPC Employee Home Office

To mitigate the spread of the virus and to ensure the safety of our workforce, many HPC employees will use the opportunity to work from home. During this current period, key functions will be staffed at the HPC headquarters too. We will ensure that the common information channels such as telephone, mobile, email as well as the HPC LinkedIn channel are available without restriction.

Supporting Your Business

This pandemic implies new challenges for shipping, port and terminal operators as well as the hinterland supply chain. If you have the need or ideas on how HPC can support you in strengthening the resilience of the supply chain, please reach out to us. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

We understand how challenging the Coronavirus situation is on global maritime hubs and the health and safety of all employees. We want to support you. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact your project manager or reach out to HPC Management directly. 


Port Integration Days organised by HPC and compacer

Digitalisation and integration along the supply chain and between stakeholders are amongst the decisive trends driving innovation in logistics. Real-time information and excellent service quality towards clients as well as high operational transparency and flexibility are success factors to stay ahead of the competition as a port, logistics hub and terminal.

HPC and integration solution provider compacer were pleased to welcome various guests from the international port, transport and logistics industry on the occasion of their joint Port Integration Conference on 18/19th February in Hamburg. The conference provided participants with valuable insights on best practices and state-of-the art solutions from both hosting companies. They had the chance to

  • Learn how digitalisation trends are influencing our industries
  • Gather insights from successfully implemented projects
  • Meet highly experienced industry experts
  • Plan their technology roadmap to meet their strategic objectives
  • Extend their network among fellow port authorities and terminal operators during dedicated networking breaks and the evening event
  • Benefit from cross-industry learning
  • Gain insights into one of the most automated terminals in the world (CTA)

"Port Integration is like an orchestra"

said HPC’s Head of IT Consulting, Dr Stefan Wiech, in his keynote, meaning that all players need to cooperate very closely to make integration a success.




Bimal Caleechurn of Mauritius’s Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd. confirmed that “they talked about real issues that we are facing in our own day-to-day port operations” and liked the interesting and practice-related discussions between the participants.

Panel 1 dealt with the influence of digitalisation and the Internet of Things on logistics and port operations. The terms of AI and IoT were “demystified” and reduced to the question: “What is the specific value for your own company?” HPC’s AI expert Niklas Sikorra presented two real-life AI implementations in our industry that will have a high impact on terminal and port cluster productivities.

Panel 2 was about block chain, data warehouse and the consequences of big data for global logistics while Panel 3 concentrated on Port Community Systems (PCS) and the question of how ports provide services in a web environment. The integration of web portals with real-time operating systems was also discussed. Trends in the global ports were presented and a user report given. HPC’s Pablo Bowen stated that the sample question “Where is my container?” was a key indicator of a port’s level of integration. He believes technology makes up for only 20% of it while the rest is a question of organisation and strategy. “A PCS is a long journey – you need a digital masterplan!”

Finally, Panel 4 dealt with business and systems integration including expectations towards an integration platform and discussing EDI, EAI, automatic test management and automated IT support.

HPC’s and compacer’s conclusion

The event was a full success and participants enjoyed the practice-oriented approach and networking opportunities.

HVCC, Wärtsilä and Carnival achieve real-time data exchange between ship and port

19th February 2020

Reliable ship arrivals, more efficient ship handling and port logistics, as well as reduced fuel consumption and emissions – these are the aims of a joint digitalisation project between HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, maritime technology company Wärtsilä and cruise group Carnival. The details were presented for the very first time at the Smart Ports Summit in London.

HPC’s senior IT consultant, Sahar Lemanczyk moderated a session with all the project partners, highlighting the significant role of HPC who substantially contributed to this successful collaboration and who took care of the portside project management on behalf of HVCC.


M/S "AIDAsol" on its arrival in the Port of Hamburg ©Dietmar Hasenpusch
Pic available for download on HHLA's website: click here for download.

Ports are the hubs of the transport flows that span the globe. By the time ships berth at the terminals, onshore logistics have been meticulously organised and planned right down to the finest detail. This applies to both cargo and passenger ships. If, for example, a cruise ship arrives at the Port of Hamburg, the preparations required for the changeover of 6,000 passengers need to be in place. Dozens of buses, trains, flights, even hundreds of hotel rooms, have been booked and day trips have been arranged. Ship suppliers are waiting to supply the ship with fresh food, consumables and technical materials. A delay to the ship’s arrival can have financial consequences.

As a central, neutral and cross-company coordinating unit, HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center has been optimising vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Hamburg for over ten years – whether that be a container mega-ship, bulker, cruiser, feeder vessel or inland waterway ship.

In the past year, HVCC has coordinated the arrival of over 3,200 mega-ships in the Port of Hamburg. As part of this passage planning, HVCC determines the ideal arrival time (RTA Requested Time of Arrival) for a ship as it approaches the Elbe. In doing so, it takes into account factors such as berth occupancy, oncoming traffic, tide and weather conditions, and gets the operational overview approved by the relevant authorities – all of this long before the ship begins its transit to Hamburg. The shipping company or ship management can use the RTA data to adjust the ship’s speed and route in order to ensure that the vessel arrives right on time. This also allows terminals and other port service providers to make their plans at the same time. The resulting benefits of such a system are reliable arrival times, optimised port logistics and resource planning, and reductions in fuel consumption and emissions.

Optimised ship calls through digital data exchange

Alongside the maritime technology provider Wärtsilä and cruise group Carnival, HVCC has now further developed its passage planning and has tested a one-of-a-kind, digital solution for just-in-time ship calls. For the first time the direct, real-time data exchange under real-world conditions between port and ship was realized in order to enable a dynamically optimised Hamburg approach.

The first live tests were carried out on the M/S “AIDAperla” and M/S “AIDAsol” – ships which regularly call at the Port of Hamburg. During these tests, the data shared between HVCC and Carnival Maritime’s Fleet Operation Center in Hamburg was fed directly into the cruise ships’ electronic nautical chart (ECDIS) via the Navi-Port digital platform developed by Wärtsilä. The continuous, dynamic, real-time data exchange improves coordination and allows for automatic modifications to a ship’s course and speed should conditions at port change during a voyage. The innovative project is also being supported by the classification society Bureau Veritas to ensure that cybersecurity requirements are met. The team also includes the internationally renowned management consultancy HPC Hamburg Port Consulting with its expertise in port-side project management.

Gerald Hirt, Managing Director of HVCC: “HVCC has always attached great importance to the development of collaborative digital solutions. For us this means ‘passage planning 2.0’ – a further step towards intelligent ship coordination and the digitalisation of port logistics."

Michael Salzmann, Senior Nautical Superintendent, Carnival Maritime: “We are committed to making cruising more sustainable. For this, we welcome the development of new and more efficient technologies. We have tested the solution with two of our ships. The Wärtsilä ships’ onboard navigation systems were connected directly to HVCC, which allowed for continuous communications, resulting in just-in-time arrivals in Hamburg. Outstanding.”

Torsten Büssow, Director, Wärtsilä Voyage: “Wärtsilä’s approach is aimed at eliminating wasteful practices in shipping operations. Close collaboration between industry stakeholders is a key enabler. Once again, this project shows what can be gained when the industry works together in a transparent and cooperative way.”

Najmeh Masoudi, Technology Leader - Smart Ships, Bureau Veritas: “Connectivity is enabling new ways of working. As a class society, Bureau Veritas plays a critical role in helping ensure that the marine industry safely adopts new technologies.” 

Following the successful tests in the cruise segment, there are now plans to expand into cargo shipping. Talks have already been held with container shipping companies. “Looking to the future, other port locations could also use this HVCC service,” remarks Hirt. With approximately 3,000 seaports and 100,000 commercial vessels around the world, the potential for further networking is enormous.

IHATEC project INTERACt completed

The final presentation of the INTERACt research project, for which HPC has been one of three project partners since autumn 2018, has recently taken place at HHLA's headquarters in Hamburg's Speicherstadt. The project funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the IHATEC program dealt with the exciting question of how container terminals can prepare for the handling of autonomously driving trucks.


The aim of the project was to harness the advantages of autonomous driving along the entire transport chain. A special focus was placed on using the vehicles, which were primarily developed for public roads, on terminal areas and integrating them into the operational processes there.

Together with the consortium partners CTD Container Transport Dienst (project management) and the Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), HPC examined to what extent this is already possible.

Our Challenge

It was HPC's task to analyse truck handling on various types of terminals such as container terminals, empty depots or packing companies. For example, our employees accompanied truck drivers on their usual routes for three days and closely monitored related handling processes. Particular attention was paid to the driver's activities that are still pending in addition to the actual driving, e.g. B. load securing, empty container check, documentary effort and clarification of organisational questions. All these tasks need to be taken into account in autonomous driving as well.

On this basis, we defined handling processes for autonomous trucks and used them to derive technical, operational and legal requirements for the vehicles as well as for transport service providers and terminals involved. At last, we compiled them in a catalogue of requirements.

As part of a gap analysis, the project partners outlined, which technical and legal reasons currently speak against the use of autonomous trucks on container terminals. While the load can already be secured with automatic twistlocks, some questions remain, e.g.: Who will take over the empty container check? This is currently not feasible without human effort and, in the case of autonomously driving trucks, involves liability and financing issues for the terminal. This also applies to handling processes and interfaces that are not yet sufficiently standardized (Is the empty container clean? How is that defined?). The developments necessary to close these gaps were summarized in a roadmap.

The final presentation of the INTERACt project met with great interest. We were pleased to welcome guests from all areas involved, such as terminals, depots, packing companies, vehicle manufacturers as well as authorities and associations.

Lessons learned

  • The project partners learned a lot about the handling processes on the different types of terminals.
  • We are able to define the necessary handling processes for autonomous trucks.
  • We know which technical issues need to be solved for the use of autonomous trucks at different terminals (What requirements does the truck need to come up to? How do terminals and hauliers have to prepare?).



HPC contracted for simulation project at a liquid bulk terminal in Texas

Jefferson Energy operates a terminal in the Port of Beaumont, Texas for loading and off-loading rail cars for liquid bulk like crude oil and diesel. The tank storage facilities on site are also supplied by sea-going vessels, barges and pipelines. 


The project’s objective is to identify the maximum train handling capacity (number of rail cars) and infrastructural and operational improvements needed in this respect.

Our Challenge

To achieve this goal, we will use our proven in-house simulation model. Our Managing Director and rail expert for North America, Dr Felix Kasiske, Associate Partner and intermodal rail terminal expert, Frank Busse, and senior simulation expert, Carsten Eckert, conducted a first fact-finding mission at the Port of Beaumont beginning of January.

Benefit to the Client

The simulation model facilitates investigating the impacts of different scenarios by ringing the changes and showing operational sensitivities. HPC provides detailed information on the feasibility and benefit of individual measures to identify the terminal’s maximum train handling capacity. Hence, Jefferson Energy may take adequate actions to implement improvements and increase actual figures.



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