The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is one of Germany’s 16 federal states and the second largest city in Germany. The Hamburg metropolitan region is home to more than five million people. Working near its busy port (3rd busiest port in Europe) has always defined Hamburg’s socio-economic environment, making it one of the industrial hotspots in Northern Germany. Over 40% of goods entering the Hamburg port are put on lorries onward to the Hamburg hinterland. The revised Hamburg Climate Plan, which was adopted in December 2019, requires a 55% reduction in climate emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 baseline.
Metropolitan cities like Hamburg are confronted with the challenge of modernising important national and international transport hubs. Three out of nine major European transport arteries – the TEN-T corridors –intersect in Hamburg. Around 40,000 trucks drive into the Port of Hamburg every day, and more than ten percent of all rail freight journeys in Germany start or finish there. Each day, around 500,000 people commute to and from Hamburg. All forecasts predict that traffic will further increase on transregional transport routes. Digital transformation and the use of digital technologies will play a key role here.
Hamburg has been a testbed for innovative logistics solutions to handle the sharp increase in deliveries. Learning from these pilots, a significant solution is (company-independent) consolidation of goods in microhubs with last-mile distribution using cargo-bikes or by foot. An evaluation of a micro-hub pilot carried out by UPS in the Hamburg city centre confirmed these positive effects and a study on last-mile logistics concluded that 100-150 micro-hubs would be enough to shift 40% of last-mile deliveries to cargo-bikes.
Hamburg wants to benefit from these opportunities and improves its use of digital technologies to make transportation more efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly. By adopting the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Strategy in Hamburg on 26 April 2016, the City of Hamburg has now taken an important first step towards “Transport 4.0”.
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