Overview

Smart harbour

The port of Hamburg is a place of longing. It’s also a place of efficency! Find out how this superlative trade center increasingly flawless every day.

T he Port of Hamburg is a miracle of modern logistics. It transships nearly 10 million containers per year, from ship to road or rail and vice versa. That’s 138 million metric tons of cargo every year. The technology is breathtaking as well: sensor-controlled transport modules move the containers between the gigantic cranes and the ships, shuttling back and forth as if moved by some invisible giant. It seems as if everything is going like clockwork. But there is one problem: the interface between man and machine. Difficulties arise time and time again when it comes to loading the containers onto trucks.

12 percent greater productivity on the bottom line!

If just one rig is late, for example, the entire loading process is held up. And if the transshipping station is changed at short notice, the truckers often don’t know exactly where their new destination lies. The result: detours, traffic jams and delays. With 40,000 truck trips every day, this is a huge problem that costs time and money.

Every second counts

Some 10,000 ships call on the Port of Hamburg every year – and unload an unbelievable quantity of 137.8 million metric tons of goods. Their onward transport requires 40,000 truck trips every day. One thing is clear: every second counts, because every traffic jam and every minute of downtime costs money. Everything used to be coordinated by radio. T-Systems has now teamed up with SAP to develop a system that optimizes truck traffic at the port and reduces traffic jams. How does it work? Tap the signal icons and find out how smartPORT logistics is boosting the port’s efficiency.

  • Signal icon Tap the signal icons and find out how
    smartPORT logistics is boosting the
    port's efficiency.

  • Loading terminal If the loading terminal for a truck
    driver changes, he receives this infor-
    mation on his tablet instantly, together
    with directions to the new location.

  • Traffic flow If a truck gets stuck in a traffic jam
    somewhere, the system not only calcu-
    lates the new arrival time, but also
    reschedules the loading process, allow-
    ing trucks that have already arrived
    to be loaded or unloaded earlier.

  • The big picture The drivers receive information about
    the traffic situation, their desti-
    nation and their status. So they are
    always up to date on the big picture.

  • Port authority The port authority has a central
    picture of the traffic situation
    throughout the port grounds.

  • Everything drivers need to know Drivers receive their orders and
    destinations, including directions and
    arrival times, on their smart devices.

That’s why Deutsche Telekom, the Hamburg Port Authority and SAP Research developed a new system called smartPORT logistics (SPL). The trucks are equipped with tablet PCs that not only exchange data with one another through the cloud, but also with sensors at important junctions like cranes, bridges and access roads on the port grounds. If the loading terminal is changed, for example, the truck driver sees the change immediately on the tablet in the driver’s cabin, including the new approach route. And if a truck gets stuck in a traffic jam somewhere, the system not only calculates the new arrival time, but also reschedules the loading process, allowing trucks that have already arrived to be loaded or unloaded earlier.

The recently completed test phase was an impressive success: significant reductions in waiting and congestion times, pinpoint loading and 12 percent greater productivity on the bottom line. And of course, the smoother traffic is also valuable under ecological aspects. A great reason for Deutsche Telekom to continue to expand the system. Because the more logistics operators get on board, the better the system will work.