On November 29t, the port in Hamburg introduced slots reservations for all four container terminals. This applies to trucks that bring containers in, as well as those which pick them up. It is supposed to improve traffic and reduce the loading and unloading waiting time.
Hamburg is the first port in Germany that implements such a process with the objective to optimize truck traffic. Slots reservation system is quite common in the United States. It was also implemented by several terminals in Europe, the Far East and Australia.
The introduction of reservations means that all carriers who deliver or collect containers will have to establish so-called time windows for Burchardkai, Altenwerder, Tollerort, and Euro Gate terminals. Dispatchers must enter the planned transport time electronically and provide the appropriate terminal. If there are free places for the given time, one can book a slot.
Better not be late
Each slot includes a 60 minutes time period at the terminal for truck-related operations. If the driver is late, he will no longer be given priority and will have to wait for the terminal to be free. If the slip is significant, the slot will expire and you will need to book it again.
The system has been designed to provide a maximum flexibility. That is why, among other things, it allows for the cancellation and change of reservations, as well as the exchange of slots between individual terminals.