HPC joins prototyping a digital port master plan

A digital port twin is a virtual model of a port which can be used to analyze and evaluate various port planning concepts. The plan for the digital twin of the Port of Hamburg will involve displaying all the information available on the port as well as integrating a simulation function. Not only will this enable existing situations and concepts to be mapped and historically analyzed in real time, the effects of port development plans can also be realistically simulated.

With such an improved and more reliable depiction of complex port operations, the digital port twin qualifies as a strategic digital port master planning tool providing more precise planning and better visualization for the planning of port development projects in the future.

HPC is developing the simulation logic of the digital twin for the Port of Hamburg. The focus is on the interaction of the terminals as well as water, road, and rail traffic. The model takes into account the port call simulation of different ship sizes and their handling across all modes of transport and focuses on port road traffic in particular, including the quantitative use of the necessary handling equipment. The data obtained from the simulation can also be used to make deductions regarding energy consumption and emissions and the overall environmental impact.

"While in the past a port development plan was reviewed at several-year intervals and renewed at great expense, a digital port master plan allows for the port development process to become more permanent," says Carsten Eckert, simulation expert and assigned project manager at HPC. "In this way, port planning can update itself analogously to reality and, above all, become comprehensible and visible at a glance."

The visualization of the digital port twin is being developed by the Department of Informatics Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at the University of Hamburg. In addition to the HPA, HPC and the University of Hamburg's HCI and IfOR institutes, Bremenports, Port of Kiel and Niedersachsen Ports are involved as associated partners.

The project has been published as "HafenplanZen" and is funded under the Innovative Port Technologies (IHATEC II) funding program of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMDV). The total budget for the project is approximately 1.1 million euros. The funding rate is around 50 percent.