Night journeys alleviate road traffic and protect environment in Hamburg

The HHLA subsidiary CTD Container-Transport-Dienst alleviates traffic on roads in the port by conducting journeys at night and increasing the share of environmentally friendly container transport by using inland waterway vessels and trains.

The HHLA subsidiary CTD Container-Transport-Dienst is a market leader in container transport in and around the Port of Hamburg. Due to the short distances, containers are usually moved between depots for empty containers and the container and/or rail terminals by truck. In order to alleviate the strain on port infrastructure and reduce the traffic volume, especially at peak times, CTD now carries out the majority of its transports during the night shift.

Out of the 50,000 containers that CTD trucks transshipped last year, almost 20,500 were moved at night. This means that 41 percent of all transshipments were carried out between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. For Steven Treder, team leader for local transportation at CTD, this was a great success: “In our planning, we try to schedule as many trips as possible during the night shift. This ensures a more even utilisation of our vehicle fleet while also increasing capacities during the day.” It also means the trucks spend less time waiting in traffic, which makes transport planning more reliable and also serves to protect the environment.

Environmentally friendly “water-to-water transshipment” – transports by inland waterway vessel or barge – also increased in the past year. The number of containers rose by around ten percent to just under 13,000 TEU. In recent years, CTD has gradually increased the amount of transshipments by inland vessel to more than 16 percent, reducing the number of truck journeys by around 6,500.

CTD alleviated the strain on road infrastructure in the port even further by switching from truck to rail. Its greatest success was the establishment of a new railway line between Hamburg and Bremerhaven, which it has been operating in partnership with the HHLA rail subsidiary Metrans since the end of 2018. That's an alternative to sending trucks down the busy A1 motorway. Up to three rail departures in each direction per week have so far replaced almost 300 journeys by truck. CTD is not only upping its use of environmentally friendly rail transport in Hamburg. At its Berlin site, intermodal transport quantities have increased by 21 percent to approximately 26,000 TEU and in Stuttgart-Kornwestheim by 19 percent to over 45,000 TEU.

Ralph Frankenstein, Managing Director CTD: “We are not committing to one particular mode of transport. If a customer requests transportation by rail and subsequent delivery by truck, they will be offered these services from a single source.”

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Night journeys, CTD
Photo: HHLA

Night journeys alleviate road traffic and protect environment in Hamburg.

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