HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) goes live with the latest generation of INFORM’s Rail Crane Optimizer

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Germany’s largest container rail yard uses INFORM optimization software for more than 14 years.

HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) has successfully gone live with the latest generation of INFORM’s Rail Crane Optimizer. The software optimizes the crane moves of all four rail cranes as well as the sequence of their job orders.

Germany’s largest container rail yard at the CTA terminal needs to grow. But since the rail yard is wedged between CTA’s yard blocks and the logistics center Altenwerder (GVZ), the footprint could not be expanded. In order to create space, the existing seven rails will be moved closer together and complemented by two additional rails.  

Since it‘s opening in 2002, CTA has been using INFORM’s software SyncroTESS to optimize the terminal’s rail yard operations. In the past 14 years, INFORM’s system has been used successfully to optimize the terminal’s hinterland operations connection, i.e. truck routing to the various pick-up and drop-off zones, rail handling as well as the horizontal container transports within the terminal by tractors and chassis.

In order to be prepared for the expected growth after the expansion, CTA has opted to install the latest generation of INFORM’s Rail Crane Optimizer. A simulation carried out by INFORM prior to the expansion showed:

  • The day-to-day business can be handled at high productivity levels even during the reconstruction phase.
  • The expected handling growth after the expansion can be achieved safely.
  • Additional capacity buffers could be identified.

The Rail Crane Optimizer interfaces with SyncroTESS. The simulation was carried out in July 2015. “Our simulations use the same optimizer as our standard software”, explains Dr. Eva Savelsberg, Senior Vice President Logistics Division at INFORM. “This is a simple and quick way to identify productivity growths through optimization”.

The order was placed in December 2015; the go-live was carried out in April 2016 before the construction works started. “The way how the INFORM team implemented the entire project was again very fast and extremely professional”, says Swantje Finke, Project Manager at CTA.

CTA’s capacity will be considerably higher after the expansion – within the same footprint. The rail yard currently handles 785,000 standard containers (TEU) on average per year; 930,000 TEU per year will be possible in 2017.

Container Terminal Altenwerder is recognized worldwide as state-of-the-art. With its high degree of automation and its compact layout, HHLA’s newest terminal sets the scene for the future of container handling. The most advanced technology and innovative EDP system ensure efficient discharging and loading of large container ships.

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