Sustainability at HHLA

For us, shaping the future also always means taking a responsible approach to our use of natural resources. Our sustainable business model has already proven itself highly successful, as our nomination for the 2018 German Sustainability Award confirmed.

Energy-efficient: the terminal is only lit at night if it’s necessary.

For the implementation of our sustainability strategy, we focus on ten key areas of action. These areas combine successful business practices with environmental requirements and social responsibility.


An environmentally responsible approach to logistics must focus mainly on transferring more cargo from road to rail. Therefore, HHLA supports the initiative launched by European railway companies to significantly increase the proportion of cargo transported by rail by 2030. This target, set last year in Katowice, should help to reduce the impact of traffic on the climate.


In the years up to 2022, HHLA will provide its rail subsidiary METRANS with € 350 million in funds to invest in modern terminal facili­ties, locomotives and its fleet of wagons. In 2018, Metrans put its 40th eco-friendly, multi-system electric locomotive into operation.


The ever-increasing transport volumes of Metrans prove the appeal of its services and speak to its high-performance.


We are also integrating other parties into the optimisation of our logistics chains, such as the Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC). As the central, neutral and industry-wide coordination point for mega-ship, feeder and inland water­way vessel traffic in the Port of Hamburg, the HVCC offers terminals and shipping companies operational coordination services to optimise the emissions of arriving and departing ships. The number of companies using HVCC’s services is constantly increasing. Sustainable and digital – the Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) combines both attributes and thus strengthens Hamburg’s maritime facilities.

Added value: container handling with state-of-the-art technology


The acquisition of Estonia’s largest terminal operator, Transiidikeskuse (HHLA TK), in 2018 also complements the long-term sustainability strategy. Due to regional infrastructure projects (such as the Rail Baltica project), this site is developing into a multimodal hub.


The joint venture established with US ­re­search and development company ­Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) for the development and sale of a hyperloop transportation system for shipping containers is a further step towards relieving the strain on transport infrastructures by adopting innovative approaches.


The ambitious climate protection goal of reducing CO2 emissions per container handled by at least 30 percent by 2020 – based on our 2008 figures – was soundly surpassed in 2018.


We will continue to drive the conversion of vehicles used at our terminals to electric technology. There are currently 89 cars operating with purely electric drive systems, five with hybrid drive systems and one vehicle that is fuelled by hydrogen.


Charging stations were set up in several company car parks for private electric cars. This means that employees can also charge their e-vehicles.


With the successful recertification of our energy management system, the efforts in the company to boost energy efficiency were confirmed in 2018. With the efficient use of energy, which is one of the key pillars of the energy transition, HHLA is able to make an effective and measurable contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions.

Highly skilled, satisfied and motivated staff members are one of the key factors for success. Therefore, HHLA invests in varied and attractive social benefits and extensive options for training and education. Numerous ways to optimise their work-life balance all increase the loyalty and motivation of our staff. Since a significant proportion of our staff carry out tasks that are physically demanding, high occupational safety standards and the active promotion of good health greatly contribute towards counteracting the effects of demographic change in the company.

Social responsibility: occupational safety for our staff

For us, shaping the future also always means taking a responsible approach
to our use of natural resources.

Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of the Executive Board