HHLA opens hydrogen test field in Port of Hamburg

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) has opened the first test field for hydrogen-powered port logistics as well as the corresponding hydrogen refuelling station in the Port of Hamburg.

Courtesy of Port of Hamburg

The test field was opened on July 2 at the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT). Together with its partner companies from the Clean Port & Logistics cluster, HHLA is testing the reliability of hydrogen to supply heavy goods vehicles during operations.

With the opening of the test field and inauguration of the hydrogen refuelling station, HHLA said the required infrastructure is now ready to speed up the transition to emissions-free heavy goods logistics and port operations, as well as to drive forward the decarbonization of logistics.

The refuelling station will be open to the public and thus also offers other companies the opportunity to test climate-friendly transport solutions. The check-in at the terminal requires registration in the passify app, HHLA noted.

Angela Titzrath, CEO of HHLA, commented: “We’re pleased to open the first test field for hydrogen-powered port logistics today. It enables us to test future technologies, gather valuable data and evaluate the results. In this way, we are shaping the sustainable future of logistics and continuing to invest in innovative technologies. We are sharing our findings with companies facing similar challenges in order to develop climate-friendly transport solutions together. Our objective is clear: We want to decarbonise the logistics sector and achieve our target of climate-neutral operations throughout the Group by 2040.”

Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, stated: “With Clean Port & Logistics, a lighthouse project for the use of hydrogen in port logistics has been created at the Port of Hamburg. From forklift trucks to tractor units and trucks – the hydrogen infrastructure we are funding here is paving the way for climate-friendly logistics on site. I hope that the hydrogen test field will have a strong signalling effect thanks to the commitment of the port players. This is the only way we will succeed in making logistics in Germany climate-friendly.”

HHLA has been working together with more than 40 partner companies from around the world in the Clean Port & Logistics cluster since 2022. The common goal is to develop solutions to bring hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicles and terminal equipment to market quickly, as well as to put in place the measures necessary for their use.

The concepts developed by the working groups for operation, safety, maintenance, refuelling and supply are tested and optimized in practical operation in the test field at CTT, HHLA said, adding that the first trials have been conducted at the refuelling station with equipment from Hyster-Yale, VWG Oldenburg and CMB.TECH’s hydrogen truck.

The cluster and the refuelling station received funding of approximately €3 million from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as part of a national innovation program for hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

To note, as part of the “Balanced Logistics” sustainability strategy, HHLA is aiming to become climate-neutral throughout the group by 2040. To achieve this, the company has been relying on the electrification of its processes and equipment. It also sees hydrogen as a contributor to the further decarbonization of logistics.

In late 2023, Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) in Hamburg took a step towards carbon neutrality by phasing out fossil fuels. At the terminal, the automated guided vehicle (AGV) fleet is now fully battery-powered.

Related Article