Page 26 - Hafen Hamburg | Port of Hamburg Magazine 4.2022
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26 | Port of Hamburg Magazine | December 2022
cluding hazardous material, ballast planning, stabili- ty, empty containers, vacant spaces and special cus- tomer requirements.” A stowage plan, moreover, is not static but requires continuous adjustment, for in- stance when a container is not delivered punctually, or port rotation is changed, for example because a call is cancelled on account of a bottleneck or a strike.
Hapag-Lloyd has relied since 2019 on ‘Sonata’ stow- age plan optimization software programmed by Solverminds, providing essential support for the Indi- an software company in developing the basic func- tionalities. “The tool uses AI and machine learning, to make one or several proposals in real time to our stow- age planners on how the containers should be distrib- uted on the vessel,” explains Belusa. This is mean- while installed on almost half of Hapag-Lloyd’s current 253 containerships, also allowing for simulation on several vessels.
At the heart of the software are optimization algo- rithms that considerably reduce planning time for me- ga-vessels with a capacity of over 20,000 TEU – stand- ard containers – and calling at several ports. Instead of the 16 hours previously, this takes no more than 40 minutes, while a plan for a single port can be pro- duced in less than quarter of an hour. The tool not on- ly relieves the stowage planner of a mass of routine work, leaving him more time for any demanding is- sues that arise, but it also leads to more rapid clear- ance of ships and hence to reduced costs. “Yet it’s not fully automatic: That will be in 30 to 50 years at the earliest,” admits Belusa.
The aim of optimizing ship calls in port is also served by JIT, the Just-in-Time optimization initiative. Hap- ag-Lloyd is one of the first shipping companies to be involved in this, since the beginning of 2022. JIT sets out to improve and standardize communication

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