Smart Project to enhance accessibility to the ports of Bremen

To date, there is no nautical terminal coordination or similar smart solution for Bremerhaven and the Outer Weser estuary. In view of the competition between European ports, this has proved to be a potential competitive disadvantage. 

That was the reason why bremenports, together with EUROGATE and Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) launched the “Digital Outer Weser” project. “We are delighted to have found an expert partner for this ambitious project. HVCC has extensive experience of coordinating vessel arrivals involving many different actors in a demanding nautical area,” states Robert Howe, Managing Director of bremenports. “This partnership with HVCC is simultaneously a good example of how ports can cooperate successfully.”
HVCC is a joint venture between Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg GmbH (CTH).

The project target is to make better use of the available terminal capacities thanks to transparent and continuously updated information and thus optimise the deployment of resources, enable predictive ship arrival planning and also reduce fuel consumption.

Nowadays shipping and ports are more closely interlinked than ever and have to be regarded jointly as essential components of international supply chains. In a dynamic market environment, topics such as shipping traffic steering and management are becoming increasingly important. In estuary waters, all aspects of shipping have to be synchronised as effectively as possible with the highly diverse processes of both public and private actors at the ports.
Moreover, the general growth in the size of container vessels frequently means that ships arriving at the Outer Weser are subject to draught restrictions. In order to comply with short time slots, vessels belonging to different customers have to be coordinated as efficiently as possible to avoid expensive delays.

The project is intended to analyse the present traffic situation in the Outer Weser estuary (processes, communications and the systems used). This involves reviewing organisational, economic, technical, time and legal aspects to obtain a decision-making basis for a suitable operating concept. 

Howe states, “To ensure the success of this project, we are banking on close cooperation with all private and public actors for whom this is an important issue. We need the support of the pilots, the shipowners, the cargo handling companies and the many other stakeholders who are involved.”

The “Digital Outer Weser” project is scheduled to be completed by spring 2023, providing the first module for the smart port strategy of the ports of Bremen.