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    Hamburg: truck handling can be scheduled

    A slot booking system for truck drivers has been in place at the EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg, CTH, and at the HHLA Terminal since 29 November 2017. Since then, truck drivers have had to book a valid time slot at the terminal to ensure that their truck is handled. The aim of the system is to improve distribution and predictability of truck arrivals, reduce waiting and throughput times for truck drivers and facilitate better planning of terminal capacities. Easing the traffic situation and thus freeing up the roads and avoiding bottlenecks are other positive effects.
    A number of clear rules apply to the slot booking system: A time slot of one hour, with leeway of half an hour on each side, can be booked (priority 1). In priority 2 bookings, the time slot is extended by another hour before and after the slot (including leeway), which means that truck drivers have up to four hours. However, the truck is then only handled if capacity at the terminal allows. “But up until now we have not had problems”, says Klaus Detje, Head of Administration at CTH.
    According to Detje, some truck drivers cancelled slots or rebooked after the time slot had already started, thus generating “no shows” where the slot could not be used by others. These companies were contacted to avoid the same thing happening in future. Stephan Krause, CTH Process Management, has a few suggestions: “Truck drivers should always try to reach the terminal at the time they have booked. If that isn’t possible, they can swap slots that have already been booked as part of the haulage company’s itinerary plans without cancelling existing slot bookings, or rebook the slot to another time before the start of the original time slot. It is also possible to add additional containers to an existing slot booking.” In principle, it is possible to cancel a slot at short notice but it should be avoided. Krause also advises to book early. “It is possible to book a slot up to three days in advance. We urge truck drivers to avail of this facility.”
    For more information on the process and the benefits of the slot booking system, please see