One Socket Can Move the World

For generations, the trade with bananas from South America has been a part of the Port family’s fruit business. The same applies to our partner with a long tradition of their own, the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA). In May of 2020, the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) was certified as climate neutral by independent assessor TÜV NORD the second time in a row.

HHLA is working on the complete electrification of the terminal’s processes with the aim of reducing emissions even further. The CTA is primarily powered by green electricity, and is one of the most innovative and environmentally friendly Container terminals in the world.

One measure are the Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV). These means of transport, which are equipped with fast-charging lithium-ion batteries and run on green electricity, transport the containers from the ship to shore cranes to the storage yard. Half of these AGVs are already battery-driven, while the rest are still powered by diesel-electric drives. True to the motto “One socket can move the world”, HHLA plans the switch to complete electrification of their AGVs for the end of 2022.

What does an automated container storage look like in detail?

A lot is going on at a HHLA container terminal: the AGVs transport the containers to one of the 26 storage blocks where one of two gantry cranes (so-called Rail Mounted Gantry Cranes or RMG) unloads the containers for temporary storage. The RMGs operate automatically, even in the dark, so lights are only turned on in certain areas or when needed. This provides electricity savings roughly equivalent to the volume used by 500 four-person households per year (2,000,000 kWh/year).

Since the basis year 2008, HHLA has achieved a reduction of their specific CO2 emissions per handled container of more than 30%. The remaining CO₂ emissions are offset with climate-friendly projects that have been granted Gold Standard certification in accordance with Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER). These include rainforest reforestation in Panama and wind farms in India.

“Our climate neutral container terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg is an important step on our way towards climate neutrality for the entire Group”, says Jan Hendrik Pietsch, Corporate Sustainability Manager with HHLA.

An outlook on a climate-neutral future for the entire Group

Terminal processes which still produce CO₂ emissions today will successively be switched to electric operation and powered by electricity from renewable sources. 14 electric gantry cranes, 52 automated stacking cranes, 37 electrically-powered cars, more than 40 AGV’s,  4 electric gantry cranes with rotating trolleys for the processing of trains are already electrified as well as the first hybrid locomotives from sister company Metrans. Some of these measurements will be implemented on the other HHLA terminals, too, so HHLA aims to be a climate neutral company with all its operations by 2040. All in all a positive outlook for our climate.

HHLA’s efforts support the following SDGs: