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Hamburg Port


Making fully informed decisions

Today’s marine cargo terminals and intermodal rail facilities require substantial investments and play a vital role in the international transport network, determining the performance of transport chains. Therefore, accurate insights into future terminal operations and performance effects of planning decisions are of crucial importance for the long-term operational success and profitability of terminal operators. By means of simulation, future terminal operations are depicted in detail, including the dynamic interdependencies of all equipment and stochastic influences, such as hardly predictable truck arrival times and human-influenced duration of terminal operations, thus returning most realistic results. Against this background, HPC is extensively using simulation for planning and optimizing all types of marine cargo terminals and intermodal rail facilities, particularly to:

  • verify feasibility of terminal designs
  • identify bottlenecks
  • compare alternative layouts and technologies
  • determine resource requirements
  • reduce development and construction cost, and quantify optimization potential
  • determine energy consumption and emissions

Why HPC?

HPC has always been at the forefront of innovation in the port and intermodal transport industry and has gained the reputation of a leading pioneer. As such we are using advanced tools and technologies to analyse, calculate and predict – with high confidence – design, operations and commercial prospects of new terminal developments and improvements of existing facilities. The fundamental basis for terminal design and improvement projects is our in-house simulation tool HPCsim.

Based on the operational know-how of our mother company, Hamburg Port and Logistics Corporation (HHLA), which is complemented by HPC’s experience gained in more than 1,600 projects all around the world, HPCsim is designed to combine outstanding level of detail and accuracy with high ability to quickly adapt to terminal-specific layouts, processes and framework conditions. By changing relevant model input parameters, HPCsim can simulate operations of virtually every type of facility, focussing on marine cargo terminals and intermodal railyards.

Additionally, we are developing tailor-made simulation models for all kinds of logistics application such as airports as well as marine, rail and road transport.

Your benefits

Based on the outstanding modelling-level of detail and unrivaled flexibility of HPCsim, which features detailed simulation of each and every equipment type and cargo handling process, our proven simulation approach produces most realistic and highly accurate simulation results, ultimately providing the following main benefits to our clients:

  • Realistic 3D insights into terminal operations
  • Realising optimized terminal design and operations, and
  • Making sure that money is spent correctly

Our approach

HPCsim provides detailed insights into terminal operations which gives clients the ability to physically see in a 3D environment and understand from a multitude of relevant performance figures how changes of input parameters affects capacity, performance, efficiency and profitability of the terminal.

Assisting terminals and ports in the design and optimization of their facilities, our proven simulation approach includes the following steps:

  • Agreeing on objectives and scope: We initially agree on the study objective with the Client, defining which areas to consider in detail, and which terminal layouts and scenarios to model.
  • Defining simulation scenarios: Based on available data and our industry expertise, we develop realistic simulation scenarios, that define inter alia throughput volume, vessel and train schedules as well as real-world truck arrival patterns that will be tested with the simulation.
  • Setting-up tailored terminal model: Understanding that each and every terminal is different, we set up tailored simulation models, reflecting terminal-specific layout, handling equipment and processes.


  • Conducting simulation experiments: The tailored model is used by us to conduct various simulation experiments that are designed to specifically adress the initially defined study objectives. Providing the full picture, we not only simulate a peak day/shift, but simulate multi-week scenarios in order to lay the foundation for fully-informed recommendations and decisions.
  • Analyzing simulation results: All simulation results are condensed to meaningful performance figures, which are presented in graphical and tabular overviews, and explained by our terminal simulation experts.
  • Providing recommendations: Ultimately, recommendations are given for the clients questions of interest, combining simulation results and HPC’s outstanding operational experience.

Our experience

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