100 % green electricity

AGV area

80 % green electricity
20 % CO₂ compensation


100 % green electricity


CO₂ compensation


100 % green electricity

The world’s first climate-neutral
container terminal

Scroll down to find out more
about how HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder electrifies its processes

Climate-neutral container handling

HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) in Hamburg is the world’s first container handling facility to be certified climate-neutral. Its operations are primarily powered by green electricity, and terminal processes that still produce CO₂ emissions today are either being gradually electrified or their transition to electrification is being tested. HHLA is offsetting its remaining CO₂emissions with climate-friendly projects that have been granted Gold Standard certification in accordance with Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER).

Seaborne handling

14 electric container gantry cranes, each weighing about 2,000 tonnes, load and unload containers to and from ships in the four berths at Container Terminal Altenwerder’s 1,400-metre-long quayside. The cranes run entirely on green electricity.


electric container gantry cranes

Automated transport vehicles

Approximately 90 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) transport the containers from the gantry cranes to the yard. 80 percent of these AGVs are already battery-driven, while the rest are still powered by diesel and diesel-electric drives. 2023 all AGVs will be powered by fast-charging lithium-ion batteries. All batteries are charged using green electricity.


percent of the AGVs are battery-driven

The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Automated container yard

The AGV drives the container to one of the 26 storage blocks where one of two gantry cranes (called rail-mounted gantry cranes or RMGs) unloads the container for temporary storage. The RMGs operate automatically, even in the dark, so lights are only turned on in certain areas or when needed. This provides electricity savings roughly equivalent to the volume used by 500 four-person households per year.



Onshore handling

Tractive units transport the steel boxes to the terminal’s own container rail terminal. While they are still powered by conventional diesel, electric tractive units are undergoing intensive testing at CTA.

Complete electrification
of tractive units by


Rail terminal

Nine parallel tracks, each of approximately 700 metres, give CTA the highest throughput of any container rail terminal in Europe. Four electric gantry cranes with rotating trolleys process trains here. Checkers in five electric cars make sure no containers are damaged and all seals are in order.



Driving on
electric power

HHLA employees cover the sometimes long distances between offices, quayside and rail terminal using 37 electrically-powered cars and vans. Rail checkers monitor the containers for intact seals and damage using five checkmobiles, which are also powered by electricity.



“Innovation in climate
protection and sustainable
business practices are two
sides of the same coin to us.”

Angela Titzrath,
Chairwoman of the Executive Board
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG

Balanced Logistics

More about sustainability at HHLA

Container Terminal Altenwerder is a crucial element in HHLA’s sustainability strategy. The facility in the Port of Hamburg is one of the most modern and efficient in the world. Since going into service in 2002, it has been continually further developed.

The independent assessor TÜV NORD has calculated CTA’s current CO₂ footprint using factors such as diesel and gas consumption, employees’ daily commute and upstream supply chain emissions for all energy sources used. The CO₂ value calculated is offset by HHLA’s targeted compensatory measures.


Powerful cranes

Every year, the container gantry cranes load and unload more than 500 large container ships and approximately 1,600 feeders (smaller container ships), as well as over 1,000 inland waterway ships.

Supporting the Energy Transition

During periods of downtime, the AGVs dock at the charging stations to stabilise the mains supply frequency, either collecting surplus energy from the power grid or feeding energy back as a primary reserve. HHLA is making an important contribution to the success of the energy transition with these measures. To be able to temporarily provide reserve power of a maximum of 4 megawatts to the power market, HHLA is setting up twice as many charging stations at Container Terminal Altenwerder as are logistically necessary.

Saving in the dark

If light is needed, LED lamps are used, which consume less energy while providing the same intensity of light. In contrast to lamps previously used, these immediately reach their full level of brightness when switched on and can be switched on and off frequently without being damaged. In addition, the power requirements of the LED spotlights in use have been reduced.

Removal of
containers by trucks

Staff onshore distribute the containers manually, manoeuvring them with the help of a camera and a joystick. Most containers are transported off-site by trucks. HHLA has no influence on their CO₂ emissions, or on those of the container ships, so only HHLA’s activities can be certified.

Powerfully ecological

Overhead cables can’t be installed here because of the rail gantry cranes. Instead, the world’s first hybrid locomotives, acquired from HHLA subsidiary Metrans, operate at CTA. These locomotives produce up to 50 percent less CO₂ and up to 70 percent less nitrogen dioxide. Depending on the assignment, the shunting locomotive can run on battery power for between 50 and 70 percent of the time it is in operation, reducing fuel consumption by up to 50 percent.


Quick power-up

Each electric car has its own rapid charging station at the terminal, which provides it with enough energy for 80 percent of its maximum range in 15 minutes. As a result, the vehicles are always ready for use and can cover distances of up to 150 kilometres.