Loading optimization

Time slot reservation trial in Hamburg

To increase efficiency in processing container ships, relieve traffic, and avoid bottlenecks, Germany's biggest port is looking to implement time slot management. What shippers can learn.

Tatjana Schork 06.06.2018

The Port of Hamburg is Germany’s biggest port and a key site in Europe’s ocean freight network. The container ships here have become bigger and bigger in recent years, resulting in more truck visits in the days around a ship’s arrival. 

To increase efficiency in processing large container ships, relieve traffic, and avoid bottlenecks, Hamburg Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) will implement synchronized time slot reservation on a trial basis at its container terminals in Hamburg in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

Shippers can also tap into the potential of time slot management, of course, using these same principles. Tudor Rose International, for example, has streamlined loading dock operations with an integrated time slot solution as part of its end-to-end logistics suite.

Read more about Tudor Rose: Download the case-study in AEB's media center

The new time slot reservation process by HHLA will help prevent bottlenecks by making it easier for all parties to plan the volume of traffic at the port. Truck visits and terminal capacity are synchronized through a new process for reserving defined time slots. Following the introduction of the system and its trial phase, an appointment will be required for processing at the HHLA terminal. 

A handling time (slot) must then always be booked at the terminal for every container transport subject to mandatory pre-announcement. This means a valid slot reservation will be needed before a truck can be processed at the terminal. 

How it works 

The time slot reservation process involves the pre-announcement of transport data via the “TR02” data interface. The TR02 message already includes the scheduled transport time. In the future, the terminal operator will be able to use this information to book slots. 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. 

Truck drivers and haulage companies can also view the current capacity utilization and import the data into a company’s own scheduling system via an interface. More information can be found at www.truckgate.de. Slots are assigned in the order the requests are received and can be booked up to three days in advance. 

How time slot reservation works at the Port of Hamburg 

How shippers can tap into the potential 

The principle of time slot management applied by HHLA at the Port of Hamburg also offers great potential for improving the efficiency of commercial and manufacturing businesses with high volumes of truck traffic at their warehouses or distribution centers. 

Tudor Rose International, Europe’s leading export market management company, mastered an ambitious IT modernization project to streamline current operations and enable future growth. As part of its end-to-end logistics management, the company also implemented a smart time slot management solution to optimize, streamline, and integrate its loading docks activities. 

Find out more about Loading Dock Scheduling with AEB. 

About the author
Tatjana Schork
Tatjana Schork’s long experience in international logistics is readily apparent in her writing. With depth and real-world knowledge, she writes about various perspectives in global networks and offers valuable insights for her readers.

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