Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) has introduced a new slot-booking process for trucks visiting its container terminals at the Port of Hamburg in Germany.

HHLA’s new system is designed to only allow trucks to enter the HHLA container terminals if they arrange a specific timeframe prior to their visit.

The launch of the new slot-booking process forms part of HHLA’s ‘Fuhre 4.0’ initiative, which intends develop digital solutions for intelligent container transportation.

“With the slot-booking system, we have developed an intelligent solution that makes container transport at the port faster and more efficient.”

The system is expected to reduce traffic at the Port of Hamburg, while facilitating the coordination of truck visits at the terminals.

It is also intended to ease congestion on the roads around the port, as well as reduce waiting times.

HHLA’s new booking system will involve the advanced notification of transport data via the TR02 data interface.

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The mandatory pre-announcement will comprise information regarding the scheduled transport time and is intended allow truck operators to book a visiting slot depending upon the availability of sufficient capacities.

The system automatically offers users the next available time window in cases where the requested slot is unavailable.

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 system’s introduction has made Hamburg the first port in Germany to implement a truck-handling optimisation system of this kind.

Slot-booking processes are more commonly used within US-based ports, while such systems are only currently being implemented at a select number of terminals across Europe, Australia and the Far East.