Port of Hamburg Tests Long-Distance Logistics Control

January 2023

More than 2000 kilometers separate the Estonian capital Tallinn from Munich. Nonetheless, HHLA – the company that runs the port of Hamburg (distance from Tallinn: over 1800 kilometers) – is currently testing a system that allows operators in the Bavarian capital to remotely control trucks in the box terminal in the Estonian city.

The technology was developed by Munich start-up Fernride, in which HHLA has now acquired a share. Logistics company DB Schenker and machinery manufacturer Krone have also obtained interests in the fledgling firm, which was founded in 2019.

The project is part of a general quantum sprung in teleoperations in logistics. Venerable German firms like Rheinmetall and Diehl are spending big on research in this area.

“Without automatized vehicles logistics will have no future,” Reinmetall’s head of technology, Klaus Kappen, told business newspaper Handelsblatt. “The market for tele-operations is going to get so big that there will be space for multiple providers.”