Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) established HHLA Next a year ago as a central unit to more quickly and precisely identify and advance innovations in the transport and logistics sector. With heyport, HHLA Next has now developed its first product for improved communication and coordination of port calls worldwide and successfully launched it on the market.
When it comes to coordinating port calls disconnected planning tools pose major challenges to the smooth flow of global supply chains. This results in considerable costs for terminal and port operators as well as shipping companies. heyport developed by HHLA Next synchronises the planning details of all participants in real time and uses an innovative one-stop-shop design which ensures that operating decision makers always have all the information they need available to them at the right time and the right place. In addition, the berth and ship planning details contained in the platform are particularly valuable when changes are made at short notice. With heyport, HHLA Next has succeeded in developing a planning and communication tool based on HHLA’s international expertise that creates added value for terminals, shipping companies and ports worldwide.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board: “We see innovation and technical excellence as crucial elements in developing sustainable solutions, being environmentally responsible and operating successfully in line with our self-image as the “gateway to the future”. Through HHLA Next, we are thus investing in innovative businesses like heyport at an early stage, and our aim is to take advantage of the potential in shaping a sustainable future for our industry – both under our own strength and by interconnecting with other operators in the logistics sector.”
HHLA has been working on a strategy focused on growth and strengthening future viability for five years now. As part of this, a range of different projects, particularly digital ones, have already been developed. To advance this process even more thoroughly and with greater precision, HHLA Next was set up a year ago as an innovation unit within the HHLA Group. In doing so, HHLA has followed the example of other companies that have also pooled their potential for developing innovative solutions in autonomous units.
For the purpose of safe and climate-neutral transportation of goods and products worldwide, HHLA Next establishes its own companies with innovative business models or invests in innovative companies in the market. To enable this, HHLA Next creates the conditions within the HHLA Group that are necessary for the sustainable further development of innovative ideas from its core business. The HHLA Next team continuously monitors technological developments and trends in the transport and logistics sector so that HHLA can make use of them wherever possible at an early stage.
“When companies work with us, we provide them with the conditions for future growth. In addition to providing capital, this is above all an extensive network, deep industry knowledge and contacts to international customers. When we invest in companies, we do not aim for short-term profit maximisation, but for long-term strategic partnerships,” explains Simone Lode, Managing Director of HHLA Next.
The corporate venture capital company pursues the “Build – Partner – Invest” approach. This means that innovative ideas are developed into new products and business models either under the company’s own strength or together with partners. In this case, the initiatives at HHLA Next are focused not just on external sources but also on all HHLA employees, for example in the form of ideation workshops for developing new venture ideas. Another format used is financial investment in promising companies.
In recent months, existing HHLA Next start-ups and innovative companies within the HHLA Group have been pooled in HHLA Next’s portfolio to create synergies and ensure knowledge transfer. These include, for example, the start-up modility, a digital placement portal for intermodal transport, iSAM AG, a specialist in process automation, and HHLA Sky, the developer of the first globally scalable drone system. In addition, initial investments have been made through the Singapore-based fund Motion Ventures.