Hapag-Lloyd to digitize its berth alignment operations with Portchain

Hapag-Lloyd
Afif; Image credit: Hapag-Lloyd

German liner major Hapag-Lloyd has signed a 5-year global partnership with Portchain, a Danish startup focusing on digitizing operations in the container shipping sector.

Under the contract,  Hapag-Lloyd will deploy Portchain Connect platform across its global operations and digitize the berth alignment process between carriers and terminals.

By digitalizing its operations, the company aims to bolster schedule reliability and terminal asset utilization as well as accelerate other initiatives that rely on timely and accurate schedule information.

We are delighted to be working with Portchain on digitizing and streamlining our berth alignment processes and look forward to creating value for our important Terminal partners throughout our network. We believe in the power of leveraging automated data flows to optimize our Port Calls and create transparency and efficiency for our valued Marine and Port Operations teams globally,’’ said Andrew Allen, Director – Terminal Partnering, Hapag-Lloyd.

Portchain Connect facilitates digital handshakes and alignment between the terminal, carrier and connected stakeholders. This alignment process enables the opportunity to capture the benefits of Just-In-Time (JIT) arrivals, which the IMO estimate can reduce CO2 emissions and bunker consumption by 5.9% in the 24 hours leading up to arrival.

According to its developers, the platform has been adopted by 33 terminals in the past 10 months, and the network growth is expected to be further reinforced by 3 ocean carriers trialing the platform in the coming months.

the most recent deals include the one signed in September with Antwerp Gateway which plans to use Portchain Connect to increase the quality and speed of their berth alignment as well as a contract with South Carolina Ports aimed also at digitizing berth planning.

“We are excited to partner with Hapag-Lloyd to digitalize the berth alignment process with terminals across the world. Hapag-Lloyd is an ambitious ocean carrier that is taking big steps to digitalize its operations and enable Just-In-Time Arrivals with its terminal network. We are excited to help them unlock the value of their data, providing terminals with more accurate and timely information to improve terminal efficiency,” said Niels Kristiansen, CEO & Co-Founder, of Portchain.

Just a month ago, Hapag-Lloyd signed a binding acquisition deal with the Chilean operator of port, towage and logistics services Sociedad Matriz SAAM covering SAAM Ports and SAAM Logistics as well as real estate assets related to the logistics business. 

The transaction is worth approximately $ 1 billion, with an estimated $ 400 million of net profit estimated for SAAM. The latest deal came a year after the German liner bought a 30% stake in Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven (CTW) and 50% of the shares of Rail Terminal Wilhelmshaven (RTW) at JadeWeserPort.

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The acquisitions are part of the company’s Strategy 2023 which underlies Hapag-Lloyd’s continuous expansion in the terminal sector,

Hapag-Lloyd has concluded the first nine months of 2022 with an EBITDA of $ 16.6 billion and a profit of $ 14.7 billion thanks to higher freight rates.

“However, we are also seeing that the market environment has deteriorated further in the third quarter. This is evident, for example, in falling spot rates and rising inflation-related unit costs,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG, commenting on the company’s performance earlier this month.

In the coming months, the strained situation in the global supply chains should continue to normalise. At the same time, our strong balance sheet will help us to stay on course even in difficult waters. We will stick to our strategic agenda while investing more in quality and growth as well as in the further decarbonisation of our fleet. One very significant focus is investment in infrastructure, which we are using to further expand our terminal portfolio.”