It is people like Samir Dedič who make the complex process of container handling in Germany’s largest port possible. Without them, all operations at the terminal would soon come to a standstill. Dedič, 32, is a driver at a haulage company and primarily works for the HHLA subsidiary Container-Transport-Dienst (CTD). His job is to deliver containers.
The driver, who is originally from Bosnia, drives his articulated lorry to the large HHLA container terminals in Altenwerder (CTA), Burchardkai (CTB) and Tollerort (CTT) several times each shift. On each trip he picks up a container, delivers it to a customer and waits until the steel box is discharged. He then returns to the terminal. Dedič’s trips mainly take him through the port. He regularly gets to see one of Hamburg’s most famous landmarks: “I cross the Köhlbrand Bridge around 15 times a day,” the lorry driver tells us.
Dedič’s mobile vibrates regularly during our chat. He is not receiving private messages but work-related information. Dedič is using the CTD driver app. The mobile app connects him in real time to his dispatchers and he receives push notifications with up-to-date information about his trips.
With the introduction of the driver app, CTD has cemented its reputation as a pioneer in digital process optimisation. The app has a lot to offer. The driver can use it to conveniently arrange their next job. They just have to log into the system once using their user data and CTD chassis number. They will then receive all the necessary transport data for the next trip. Customs and release numbers are provided and, in future, terminal handling slots will be provided, too. The driver can also take photos of documents and containers with their phone and send them to CTD if necessary. Once the chassis number is provided, the QR code on the trailer is scanned and the location received.
All CTD drivers now use this practical smartphone app. It simplifies daily tasks and saves time. Dedič agrees: “Using the app is much easier than the web announcement process. It’s always running in the background and notifies me of any relevant information. Before, I had to print and submit container and release numbers for each trip. Now I can do it all digitally on my phone.” The app is simple to use and intuitive. New trips are marked in blue and can be called up with a tap. Completed jobs are marked in green, and open and current legs of trips are marked yellow.
The key element of the app is the connection to our tried-and-tested TR02 system, an interface between the truckers and the terminal. Following an intense testing phase, the app is now also ready to handle the slot-booking process. The slot-booking process is mandatory at all HHLA terminals from 29 November 2017. It means, only lorries with a valid slot will be handled. The slot-booking process is part of the “Fuhre 2.0” programme, which HHLA has implemented to make container handling at the port faster and more efficient using intelligent solutions.
“These slots are allocated by dispatchers at our head office in Reiherdamm,” explains Marijo Pavlovic, Head of Operations at CTD. “It’s a huge leap forward compared to the old process. We can now decide at short notice and based on the current situation which trip a driver should do next and inform them via push notification. If they can’t make the slot, they will automatically receive a new job.”
This coordinated process is intended to make handling at the terminals more transparent and structured. “Until now we have been working on a first come first served basis,” says Pavlovic about the current situation for the truckers. But the more organised slot-booking system will allow containers to be handled faster. The drivers will also benefit from this.
Ralph Frankenstein, CTD’s Managing Director, can see the results of “Fuhre 2.0” directly from his office window at Reiherdamm. He points at the long road that runs straight through Steinwerder port – its main artery: “Lines of lorries used to stand here every morning, back when job processing was not yet completely digital. The drivers had to come in and submit the necessary papers for their trips.” Now there is no one in front of the CTD head office at the Port Center. Thanks to this paperless, digitalised planning, drivers can save time and fuel and avoid the long detour to Steinwerder – and protect the environment while they’re doing it.