Binding container slot booking in Bremerhaven begins

Published: Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Bremerhaven/Hamburg—On May 2, 2023, EUROGATE Container Terminal Bremerhaven (CTB) will introduce mandatory pre-booking and slot booking for truck handling at the CTB and MSC Gate terminals.

The basis of the new system is the IT platform Truckgate operated by DAKOSY, which has been mandatory for container handling in Hamburg since 2017. EUROGATE CTB is thus setting the course for a uniform slot booking process in all German seaports.

“User-friendliness and well-established processes were the main factors for us in the selection process. With our connection to Truckgate, there is now an end-to-end registration process for truckers in the seaports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven,” explains Marc Dieterich, Managing Director of EUROGATE CTB. The overall port perspective is underlined by DAKOSY board member Ulrich Wrage: “We are pleased that EUROGATE has chosen the well-established Truckgate system and is thus contributing to a uniform process across all seaports. Homogeneous digital solutions bring the ports together.”

One-third of trucks already using pre-booking during the pilot phase 

The binding slot booking was preceded by an eight-week open pilot phase. During this period, truckers were able to pre-register their container pickups and deliveries on a voluntary basis and book time slots for handling. The project manager responsible at EUROGATE CTB, Jan Wienbeck, was pleasantly surprised by the positive response: “The existing awareness of Truckgate together with its ease of technical use were clear factors in the high level of acceptance.” The figures confirm this. At the end of the pilot phase, about one-third of the nearly 1,000 trucks handled daily were already pre-planned via Truckgate. According to Wienbeck’s estimates, about 85 percent of the truck drivers active at CTB were already using the slot booking process in Hamburg.

With the introduction of Truckgate, EUROGATE aims to further increase the quality of handling on the ground. In concrete terms, this means shorter handling times for truckers. Wienbeck specifies: “We want to reduce the current handling times, including the OCR check and PreGate phase, by at least 40 percent using Truckgate and thus become significantly faster. In conjunction with certain other measures, we see our goal at 20 minutes for a single run.”

Slot booking creates more transparency with regard to the expected volume of trucks and a better basis for planning the use of resources at the terminals.

Participation in Truckgate is based on a two-step process. In the first step, the transport pre-announcement needs to be transmitted as a prerequisite for slot booking. The transport data is used to verify whether the registration data is correct and the container will be ready for pickup at the terminal. This can help in advance to avoid empty runs or waiting times at the terminals, as errors are detected at the time of registration.

The actual slot booking is based on the pre-announcement. In this, the trucker requests a specific pickup or delivery time. The slot booking is confirmed at the same time as the execution status of the transport order. Up to six containers can be registered per truck arrival. Bookings can be made starting three business days in advance, and all slots can be changed, swapped or cancelled retrospectively. Additional containers can also be added at a later time.

60-minute time slot plus 90 minute grace period 

The time slot for each booking is one hour. Added to this is a grace period of 90 minutes before and 90 minutes after the booked time slot.  In future, seven self-check-in terminals will be available in front of the entrance, where drivers can check in with the pre-booked Truckgate reference number.

DAKOSY developed the slot booking procedure on behalf of EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg and HHLA Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG. In Hamburg, participants include the terminals EUROGATE CT Hamburg and Eurokombi, HHLA CT Altenwerder, CT Burchardkai and CT Tollerort, the Süd-West Terminal, the container inspection facility CPA, the veterinary offices Altenwerder and Reiherdamm, the three empty container depots HCS, CCIS and CMR as well as EUROGATE CTB in Bremerhaven.