Getting Containers on Board Faster: Hamburg Steers a Course for the Port of the Future

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  • "Smart Port Logistics", a joint pilot project by the Hamburg Port Authority, Deutsche Telekom, and SAP
  • Real-time information about freight orders and the traffic situation provided by an IT-assisted traffic management system
  • Optimized flow of goods minimizes traffic jams and waiting times for truck drivers

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), Deutsche Telekom, and SAP are jointly starting a logistics IT solution designed to link up port-based companies, partners, and customers more closely. The "Smart Port Logistics" pilot project has resulted in a comprehensive IT platform that incorporates mobile applications, or "apps", and thus makes it possible for traffic information and port-related services to be accessed from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. The objective of the project is to optimize both traffic and logistics operations in order to allow larger quantities of goods to be transshipped in the port area. Road capacity within the port of Hamburg is restricted, and the options for modifying the roads to take more vehicles are limited. Thus, Europe's second-largest container port urgently requires an efficient traffic management system if it is to continue growing. Network Optimizes Port Processes During a three-month test phase, 30 trucks were fitted with tablets and linked up to the Smart Port Logistics system. This system supplied the truck drivers with real-time traffic information from HPA's Port Road Management System and details of available parking space in the form of current, personalized messages about the traffic situation in and around the port area. The participating freight-forwarding companies were also able to track their transport orders in real time. The services and technical equipment supplied for mobile use during the field test proved to be very practical and were used intensively by the test participants. The fact that the freight planners and truck drivers were able to communicate more effectively meant that there was a significant reduction in the time required to respond to traffic disruptions such as diversions (due to bridge closures) or to instructions to proceed to an alternative truck-holding area elsewhere on the port site. If more drivers use the system in the future, the waiting times for trucks will be reduced and there will be fewer jams within the port area and on the approach roads. Over the coming months, the project partners will analyze their findings in detail and decide on what steps to take next. Currently, their plans include involving other companies based at the port of Hamburg in the project. Data Integration Makes Supply Chain Transparent Smart Port Logistics is based on a combination of the TelematicOne solution from Deutsche Telekom, the SAP NetWeaver cloud platform from SAP, and various concepts for Web-based service marketplaces. TelematicOne is a central control portal for logistics services suppliers that consolidates freight information from various telematics systems in a single application, where it is then actionable. SAP NetWeaver Cloud provides the mobile, cloud-based platform on which the IT-assisted logistics services and processes, such as TelematicOne, reside. There are also plans to provide business networks based on the SAP NetWeaver cloud platform to offer port-related information and services. "We started using state-of-the-art IT processes at the port of Hamburg at a very early stage. The next logical step is to create a platform for integrating all of our logistics-related data and offerings," says HPA managing director, Jens Meier. "We will agree on the next steps in close cooperation with the companies based at the port in order to develop a solution that users will readily accept and that will meet our customers' requirements." "Smart Port Logistics links up everyone involved in the port supply chain and, as a result, optimizes the entire flow of goods. Together with Telekom Innovation Laboratories, our research and innovation division, we have developed an end-to-end logistics concept that we will also be able to transfer to other logistics areas such as airports and rail-freight depots," says Ulrich Meister, who is a member of the management board at T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's corporate customer division. This successful cooperation with the port of Hamburg is an excellent example of how IT can improve the efficiency and competitiveness of logistics hubs such as ports. "SAP's mobile cloud for businesses makes it possible for port operators to offer innovative applications and services in their business network that are based on SAP NetWeaver and that allow more efficient interaction between people and goods," says Jason Yotopoulos, head of global research and business incubation at SAP. "What we are striving to do is provide cloud-based services and applications that enable port operators, freight forwarders, and logistics companies to monitor transport orders in real time so that they can more precisely meet the needs of their customers and business partners."

About Deutsche Telekom With almost 130 million cell phone customers, 33 million land lines, and more than 17 million broadband connections, Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies (information valid as at June 30, 2012). The group offers products and services for land lines, cell phones, Internet, and IPTV for non-corporate customers, as well as ICT solutions for large-enterprise and commercial customers. Deutsche Telekom is represented in some 50 countries and employs more than 233,000 people around the world. In fiscal 2011, the company garnered revenues of 58.7 billion euros, more than half of which were generated outside Germany (information valid as at December 31, 2011). About the Hamburg Port Authority The Hamburg Port Authority began operating a one-stop , future-oriented port management system in 2005. As a commercially oriented institution under public law, the HPA is responsible for the efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable preparation and performance of infrastructure measures at the port of Hamburg. The HPA is the central point of contact for all questions relating to water-side and land-side infrastructure, shipping safety, the port railway network, real-estate management, and the economic conditions at the port. The HPA provides the necessary premises and space and handles all of the duties and port-management services under its jurisdiction. For more information (in German only), see About SAP As the market leader in enterprise applications, SAP AG helps businesses of all sizes and from all sectors of industry to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and achieve sustainable growth. From the back office to the board room, from the warehouse to the supermarket shelf, and from the desktop to the mobile device - SAP empowers people and organizations to collaborate more efficiently and to use business information more effectively than their competitors. More than 195,000 customers (including SuccessFactors customers) rely on SAP applications and services to achieve their objectives faster and more efficiently. To find out more, go to