Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and Demag Cranes have been jointly awarded the renowned HANSE GLOBE 2011 sustainability prize

Hamburg/Düsseldorf,   07. December 2011

  • Coveted award recognises their “Zero Emissions” pilot project
  • The project paves the way for generally applicable, sustainable electric mobility in maritime ports

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and Demag Cranes AG, represented by its subsidiary Gottwald Port Technology GmbH, have successfully concluded their Zero Emissions pilot project. The two companies have been testing a pair of battery operated automated guided container transport vehicles (Battery AGVs) at the HHLA Container-Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) since May 2011. There is no comparable battery operated commercial vehicle intended for such heavy loads anywhere else in the world. These automated guided vehicles transfer containers in both directions between the quayside and the stackyard and are guided by a fully-automated navigation system.

The pilot project “Zero Emissions” was concluded in the autumn and formed part of a programme sponsored by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) to promote electrical mobility in commercial vehicles. The use of Battery AGVs enables terminal operators to avoid exhaust gases completely and reduce noise emissions to a minimum without any loss of performance. “Zero Emissions” is considered a particularly shining example as it was so successful.

“This is a great achievement for Demag Cranes and for us. Not only were we able to integrate the battery operated AGVs smoothly into terminal operations, but are now also in a position to increase our commitment to climate protection in the port even further by cutting emissions,” commented Dr. Stefan Behn, HHLA Executive Board member for the Container segment. Aloysius Rauen, CEO of Demag Cranes AG, emphasised, “The idea of improving our customers’ competitiveness by means of ground-breaking innovations and sustainable products is an established element of our strategy. I am delighted by this joint success with HHLA.”

The Battery AGVs are powered around the clock by an array of battery cells weighing some eleven tons, which have a capacity of 335 kilowatt hours. Batteries are replaced in about five minutes in an automatic battery-changing station. The empty cells are automatically removed and plugged into the charging system in a high-bay stack, where they are recharged with energy from renewable sources. Depending on the operating conditions, an AGV can run for an average of 17 hours on one full battery.

“In our field trial we even discovered that, with further minor adjustments to the vehicles, they used around 25% less power than originally estimated,” said CTA project manager Boris Wulff.

Dr. Mathias Dobner, Head of Research and Development at Demag Cranes, underlined, “One major challenge for the ‘Zero Emissions’ pilot project was to integrate the Battery AGVs smoothly into container handling processes at CTA. To do so, we had to adjust or install six different software systems that manage the automated operations and the AGVs at CTA.”

“The very low overall energy consumption and the correspondingly extended operating time of the Battery AGVs are due to the fact that the battery power train is twice as efficient as a diesel-electric one,” added Gottwald project manager Dr. Armin Wieschemann.

“The use of Battery AGVs makes CTA the first terminal in the world to be able to transfer containers from the quayside to the stackyard and back again with no carbon emissions at all,” explained CTA Managing Director Ingo Witte.

HHLA and Demag Cranes now intend to continue testing the Gottwald Battery AGV through the winter and into April as well. If this test is also a success, HHLA will invest in battery operated AGVs when it purchases new container handling vehicles in the years ahead. A total of 84 AGVs are in use at the CTA terminal, including 29 diesel-electric and two new Battery AGVs.

For Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) as a technology leader in cargo handling, research into new, ecologically efficient power systems is part of a sustainable business model. Its CTA terminal is not only the most automated in the world, but also has the greatest degree of electrification. This combination is great news for the environment, as the terminal’s energy requirements – over 50 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity – have been sourced entirely from renewable sources since 2010. Using this carbon-neutral electricity reduces the whole terminal’s carbon footprint by around 60%.

The HANSE GLOBE is a prize awarded by the independent jury of the Logistik-Initiative Hamburg in recognition of projects that put sustainability to work in practice.

About the “Zero Emissions” project:
HHLA and Demag Cranes have, for several years, been cooperating on technological developments and one of their aims has been to eradicate exhaust gas in the terminal. One core field of interest is the gradual replacement of diesel-electric AGVs with more efficient, ecologically compatible battery-powered AGVs. The project was subsidised by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) to promote electrical mobility in commercial vehicles and is also supported by the Institute for Vehicle Technology (ika) at the RWTH Aachen University and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg GmbH (ifeu).

About the HANSE GLOBE award
The HANSE GLOBE is a prize awarded by the Logistics Initiative Hamburg to sustainable projects that have already been completed or are on their way to completion. The Logistics Initiative Hamburg awards the prize every year to a logistics-related business, institution or public body. Participation is open to applicants from any geographical area. The high-calibre jury comprises representatives from logistics, industry, retail, environmental protection, media, finance and the sciences.

About HHLA
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is one of the leading port logistics groups in Europe. With its Container, Intermodal and Logistics segments, HHLA is positioned vertically along the transport chain. Efficient container terminals, high-capacity transport systems and a full range of logistics services form a complete network between the overseas port and its European hinterland.

About Demag Cranes
The Demag Cranes Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial cranes and crane components, harbour cranes and terminal automation technology. Services, in particular maintenance and refurbishment, are another key element of the Group’s business activities. The Group is divided into the business segments Industrial Cranes, Port Technology and Services and has the strong and well established Demag and Gottwald brands. Demag Cranes sees its core competence in the development and construction of technically sophisticated cranes and hoists as well as automated transport and logistics systems in ports and terminals, the provision of services for these products and the manufacture of high-quality components.

As a global supplier, Demag Cranes manufactures in 16 countries on five continents and operates a worldwide sales and service network that is present in over 60 countries through its subsidiaries such as Demag Cranes & Components GmbH and Gottwald Port Technology GmbH, agencies and a joint venture. In financial year 2010/2011, the Group, with its 6,115 employees, generated revenue of EUR 1,062.3 million. Since August 2011, the Terex Group in the United States has held a majority share in the company (

Demag Cranes AG. We Can Handle It.


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