Since 2008, the number of ultra large vessels calling at the Port of Hamburg has steadily increased from 621 to 989 ships, including not only container ships, but also cruise ships, bulk carriers and other vessels. This is resulting in some major challenges for the port operators, shipping companies and authorities. With the introduction of the Nautical Terminal Coordination (NTK), there is now a body to handle the centralised operational co-ordination of mega-ship calls for the first time – long before a vessel proceeds up the estuary of the river Elbe. It draws on the experience and the structures of the Feeder Logistics Center (FLZ).
A Service Not Limited to Container Shipping
Dr. Stefan Behn, member of the Executive Board of HHLA and responsible for the Container segment, stresses the importance of Nautical Terminal Coordination: “We are continuing the successful work of the Feeder Logistics Center with Nautical Terminal Coordination. Both of these are prime examples of the co-operative approach that we adopt to jointly rise to the challenges we face in the Port of Hamburg – not only in relation to container ships, but also to much more besides. Everyone involved benefits from the work of Nautical Terminal Coordination.” Peter Zielinski, Managing Director of EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg GmbH, emphasises the uniqueness of Nautical Terminal Coordination: “We are delighted to see the four Hamburg container terminals being joined by Hansaport, the biggest bulk cargo terminal in Hamburg, in Nautical Terminal Coordination. The involvement of other shipping points would also make sense and would be welcomed.”
Approach Already Planed in Gibraltar
Heinrich Goller, Managing Director of FLZ/NTK, describes the facility’s character: The Nautical Terminal Coordination pools communication channels and identifies the interdependency of decisions made in mega-ship handling to resolve these issues as as early as possible. In contrast to public port authorities, we already track the ships on their approach routes, for example all the way from Gibraltar, and, in particular, from previous ports. By acting as the central point of contact, we eliminate bilateral communication for the other parties on the one hand and avoid operational friction on the other.”
Additional Co-operation Partners Wanted
Harbour Master Jörg Pollmann comments on Nautical Terminal Coordination: “We are delighted to see the Nautical Terminal Co-ordination up and running. It takes the pressure off the Vessel Traffic Service Centre, because it allows us to focus on what are actually our official duties. We, too, are therefore keen to see more shipping points getting involved in Nautical Terminal Coordination.”
To Run On Three Shifts Soon
Nautical Terminal Coordination has been working since the start of October on the basis of a two-shift system. A third shift is set to be introduced as soon as possible, by hiring new staff to today’s three. NTK’s duties for the Hamburg container terminals and Hansaport include cross-terminal coordination of the preliminary planning, approach guidance and departure planning of mega-ships in the Port of Hamburg. NTK will also assume a central and active communication role in relation to the Vessel Traffic Service Centre.
source and further details: