Hamburg’s Port: Connecting Logistics Digitally
Less downtime, more turnover: The cloud-based system smartPORT logistics (SPL) ensures trucking and container traffic remains transparent, while optimizing the entire shipping chain at the Hamburg Port Authority.
Airports, distributions centers, freight yards and ports – many logistics hubs face a similar challenge of optimizing the flow of goods amid space constraints. Hamburg’s busy port is no different: Due to its central location in the northern German city, there is limited space for expansion. “The rise in container turnover and a massive increase in traffic is pushing the transport infrastructure to the limit,” explains Hamburg Port Authority boss Jens Meier.
Information in real-time
The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) uses the smartPORT logistics system to keep container traffic transparent both directly at the port and throughout the region, as well as to optimize the logistics chain with real-time information. Previously, all transport partners only had access to their own information. But smartPORT logistics – a system unique worldwide – brings all relevant information together in real-time: freight and cargo data, telematics system information from various providers, as well as the HPA’s own traffic and infrastructure data. This includes truck positions, container data, raised bridges and construction work.
Users can access this information via an online portal – either with their own telematics unit in their vehicle or an Android app from Deutsche Telekom. Dispatchers can use the application, for example, to redirect trucks away from traffic jams in real-time. “It enables us to use existing infrastructure intelligently and efficiently,” says Meier. The private cloud application is based on SAP Connected Logistics software and Deutsche Telekom’s IoT platform.
Port logistics efficiency improves 10 percent
The results are clear: fewer traffic jams and less waiting time at the port, as well as increased cargo turnover. The smartPORT logistics system boosted the port’s efficiency by around 10 percent. And that means every truck completes one more trip per day than it did before.
An agreement on “connected logistics” between Deutsche Telekom and SAP has set the foundation for other logistics centers, so they will also soon be able to control their flow of goods in real-time.