In recent years, the capacity of the container ships handled at the Port of Hamburg has continued to increase. The more containers a ship carries, the more truck visits have to be coordinated at the terminal. In order to plan the increased traffic in advance and avoid bottlenecks in the handling process, mandatory slot booking is being introduced for truck visits. From 29 November onwards, all lorry drivers will have to book a slot for their container transports. All of the Hamburg container terminals introduce the automated system at the same time.
HHLA Executive Board member Jens Hansen said: “With the slot-booking system, we have developed an intelligent solution that makes container transport at the port faster and more efficient. This step enhances the quality of our ‘Fuhre’ initiative, which was launched in June 2011 and is now being advanced as ‘Fuhre 4.0’. It is a good example of our intention to drive digital change at the port along with our partners.”
The new slot-booking process involves the pre-announcement of transport data via the TR02 data interface. This advance notification is already mandatory and includes information about the scheduled transport time. If sufficient capacities are available at the requested time, the truck visit can be booked. Otherwise, the system automatically offers the next available time slot. This makes it possible to coordinate truck visits with the capacities at the terminals. The aim is to avoid congestion on the roads at the port and long waiting times at the terminals.
When a truck arrives at the terminal, he current time is compared with the booked slot. Each slot lasts for one full hour, e.g. from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. If the truck arrives punctually, the visit will be handled as scheduled. If it misses its slot, the load must be rebooked before the truck arrives. Otherwise there is no handling guarantee and the truck will only be dealt with as capacities permit (for tolerances, see chart below). If there is a significant deviation from the time window (Priority 3, see chart), the slot must be rebooked before the truck arrives. As the available parking spaces are needed to handle those trucks that are on schedule, as well as priority transports, trucks are not allowed to wait on the terminal site without already having or for booking a slot.