• 2022 October 17 16:47

    Starting in November, transhipments by feeder ship will reduce road congestion in the Port of Hamburg

    As of November 1, 2022, feeder ships can be strategically used for container transfers between the major terminals in the Port of Hamburg, according to the company's release. The projected benefits include providing relief the port infrastructure by reducing the number of truck journeys between the terminals, shorter waiting times at the terminals and a related decrease in CO2 emissions. The way is paved by Danish shipping company Unifeeder as initiator, together with the Hamburg software specialist DAKOSY and DIHLA DAKOSY Interessengemeinschaft Hamburger Linienagenten (DIHLA). Collectively they have created a digital process that also covers customs handling.

    Every day in the Port of Hamburg, container transhipments (transfers of containers between large container ships and feeder vessels) which are not loaded at the same terminal happen on a huge scale. In total, the Port of Hamburg had approximately 3.3 million TEU of transhipments in 2021, although not every transfer results in a transshipment.

    "For these container transhipments, we see a high potential to switch from road to waterway by using our existing shipping capacity. As the largest feeder carrier in Northern Europe, we have up to 85 terminal calls per week in Hamburg and can therefore offer sufficient resources to transport additional containers within the port," says Florian Pein, Area Director West and Central Europe at Unifeeder, outlining the concept.

    The service that has emerged from this includes container transfers by feeder ship between the HHLA terminals CTA, CTT and CTB, as well as Eurogate and, in the near future, the Süd-West Terminal. Looking further ahead, Unifeeder is endeavoring to switch 50 percent of its transhipment operations from trucks to feeder carriers. This alternative is of particular importance to Pein, especially in light of the shortage of qualified truck drivers.

    DAKOSY, DIHLA and Unifeeder jointly established the framework for the digital processes and customs handling of feeder transhipments. The basis is the Port Community System operated by DAKOSY, featuring the integration of a new module.

    The main challenge of the project was to lay the groundwork for the digital customs processing of transhipments.

    The so-called transhipment manifest was newly introduced into the process. With this manifest, the feeder carrier signals via EDI interface or via the IMP web application that it wants to make a transhipment by feeder ship. As a result, a change of custodian is triggered through an automated process and no export transaction is initiated. The manifest also notifies the departure and destination terminals of the planned transhipment and provides them with status messages along the way. This allows the terminals to optimize their internal processes as well.

    DIHLA has covered the initial financing for the digital processes required to implement feeder transhipments.

    Unifeeder has been offering container transport services in Northern Europe for 45 years and has been the leader of today's network for many years, with more than 50 ports of call (complete Baltic Sea region, England/Ireland and Portugal services). Hamburg is the largest hub port for this service, followed by Rotterdam and Bremerhaven. Their core business consists largely of transhipments as well as the growing in-house shortsea and tankbulk services.

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