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Hamburg Port Q&A


As a key link in the global transport chain, ports are implementing a range of green Initiatives and encouraging their customers to do the same. Here, Jens Meier of Hamburg Port Authority outlines some of the moves in progress there.


management to reduce congestion on approach roads to the port. HPA supports environmental initiatives by terminal operators and shipowners.


Hamburg Port’s Jens Meier


Q: As shipping’s environmental profile falls increasingly under the spotlight, all links in shipping’s supply chain are implementing "green" initiatives. What specific moves have been made in your port and what initiatives are planned for the future?


A: Sustainability is a key priority for the Port of Hamburg. More and more companies are ensuring that they have a "green" logistics chain and ports have an important role to play. The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) has been recycling sites for many years. It has succeeded in avoiding the use of new spaces, despite increasing its turnover figures. It has also set a climate protection strategy for companies, based on the City of Hamburg’s own goals, and is also a member of the Hamburg Environmental Partnership. HPA is investing large amounts to expand and improve environmentally friendly rail and water transport and emissions reduction in many areas. Initiatives include the introduction of environmental management, environmental components in port charges, an eco-tariff for low-noise wagons used by the port railway, heating of railway points by a geothermal system, and traffic


Q: What steps are being taken to improve the operating and environmental efficiency of workboats in the port area? Is the use of liquid natural gas as fuel for harbour craft under consideration?


A: Environmental protection in the port takes many forms. We are steadily replacing navigation buoys with solar-powered units. That saves resources and cuts maintenance requirements. Meanwhile, trials are under way to run HPA’s fleet of ships and floating equipment on low- sulphur fuel. This has been very successful in terms of consumption, maintenance and technical retrofit requirements, and the use of low- sulphur fuels will now become a permanent policy.


Shore power is available and mandatory for internal port operations where a ship remains in port for a specified minimum period. These shore power supply points are used not only by the HPA fleet, but also by inland navigation vessels, tugs, pilot launches and port ferries. We are also interested in LNG and are examining technical and legal aspects relating to the use of LNG inside the port.


Q: What moves have been made to encourage port contractors to use environmentally favourable fuels in handling vehicles and plant?


A: Europe’s biggest railway port is introducing an environmental component and thus taking a leading


role worldwide. Companies are encouraged by targeted financial incentives to use noise-damping brakes on their rolling stock and diesel particulate filters on their locomotives. That reduces noise and particulate emissions in the port, and makes the railway system more environmentally friendly. HPA is introducing an


environmental component in port fees on July 1st, based on the Environmental Ship Index (ESI). ESI is an international standard and is designed to make ship emissions comparable. That means ships can be classified and assessed by environmental criteria, similar to systems used for road vehicles. In this way, HPA is encouraging shipowners and shipping lines to invest in green propulsion systems and fuels. We are also setting an example with our participation in research projects on electric vehicles. HPA has had an electric vehicle in operation since the spring of this year.


Q: What steps are being taken to encourage "green" initiatives amongst your shoreside suppliers and customers; and amongst the ocean carriers which call at the port? Conversely, are poor performers discouraged or banned?


A: HPA has integrated green components into port fees and charges for the port railway, thus encouraging green behaviour by port customers. Efficient operating practices are promoted by HPA’s own research and projects of municipal institutions and port companies, with potential benefits for the environment. HPA is also engaged in international working groups which examine environmental port issues and decide on possible strategies. These include working groups on the World Port Climate Initiative, organised by the International Association of Ports and Harbours, projects within Ecoports/Espo and participation in various European research programmes. 


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