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    People at Eurogate

    • Jan Hansen

      Workplace with a view of St. Michael’s Church and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall

      Jan Hansen, container gantry crane driver in Hamburg


      His workplace is less than ten square meters in size and is around 50 metres above ground: Jan Hansen has been working as a heavy machinery driver at the Hamburg container terminal for many years. He is a multifunctional driver and can drive all of the machines ranging from the reach stacker through to the straddle carrier and the container gantry crane. When asked what his “favourite workplace” is, he answers spontaneously: the gantry. 


    The now 50-year-old came to the container handling company EUROKAI in 1996. He had already started his professional career in the port ten years earlier. “I learned to be a maritime goods inspector and worked in a few companies in the port and transport industry”, he says. He initially dealt mainly with general cargo and really only got to know the container business at EUROGATE.


    “I knew that here it would be a question of being able to drive as many heavy machines as possible. I therefore got my HGV licence before starting at EUROGATE”, says Hansen. In my first few years on the Predöhlkai, I got all of the other heavy machinery licences and gradually got into training gantry crane and straddle carrier drivers. “That was during the major recruitment drive around ten years ago”, he remembers. He says it was an interesting job. “You had to talk an awful lot every day and explain lots of things. It was sometimes quite exhausting”, he says. But also fascinating, he adds. The expert port staff had to adjust to new people and characters again and again.


    He has been working as a “normal” multifunctional driver again for the past few years but his work now focuses on driving container gantry cranes. “It’s a great job with lots of variety and also a flair for the great wide world”, says the citizen of Hamburg. For example, when the sun rises in the morning and shrouds the terminal in golden rays or, in the evening, when the lights from the city proclaim the busy life in the metropolitan area, there is nowhere else that Hansen would rather be than in the cab of his crane. “Who has that? A workplace with a view of St. Michael’s Church and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall?”


    By the way, the crane driver comes to work on his e-bike. He won it in the EUROGATE environment quiz. “I have already done several thousand kilometres on it”, he says enthusiastically. In the meantime, not only has his wife also gotten an e-bike but the entire Hansen family is paying greater attention to an environmentally-aware lifestyle. “We cycle and use public transport. In addition, we pay attention to energy consumption, particularly for heating and hot water usage. And for a long time now, we don’t buy plastic bags any more”, he says. The Hansens also wanted to sell their car, but they still use it now and again. “It’s hard to transport large amounts of shopping or crates of water on a bike”, says Jan Hansen. But anyone who knows him, also knows that he will find a way of doing it.