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Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V.

A summer of logistics innovations

The logistics projects CoboTank, DeConTrans and HaFoLa were subject of five presentations in three weeks in August and September.

In times of ongoing climate change and supply chain disruptions, interest in waterborne logistics remains undiminished. Accordingly, findings and results from research and industry projects in this topic area are a welcome contribution to numerous meetings and conferences. This also applies to the logistics projects at DST, which were the subject of a series of presentations over a three-week period in August and September 2022.

On 30 August 2022, Cyril Alias, Head of the Logistics & Transportation Department at DST, presented on the perspectives of automated inland navigation from a logistics perspective at the ISL Maritime Conference 2022 in Bremen. While the focus of the numerous research and development projects is on vessel operations, especially navigation, and legal aspects, the application potential in logistics is largely unexplored.

On 1 September 2022, the research results from the DeConTrans project were presented at the Fourth BinSmart Monitoring Research Meeting in Duisburg. Alias presented the service concept developed in the project, which relies on small inland vessels and decentralized transshipment points in the West German canal network and is designed as a feeder service for the large liner services in seaport hinterland traffic. He also discussed the results of the logistics simulation, in particular the economic key performance indicators.

On 12 September 2022, the DeConTrans project was once again in the spotlight at the ‘Innovation Event: Urban Logistics Solutions’. At the event, which was hosted by the Centre for Logistics and Traffic at the University of Duisburg-Essen on their Duisburg campus, various innovative and climate-friendly concepts for supplying large metropolitan and polycentric regions were presented. In this context, Cyril Alias presented the decentralized waterborne container transportation service as a viable alternative for the Ruhr area and the West German canal network and pointed out the connectivity to novel concepts for the last mile transportation.

At startport, the logistics start-up incubator situated in Duisburg’s Inner Harbour district, the ‘innocam.THEMENFORUM’ took place on 15 September 2022 on the topic of “Logistics in the context of automated and networked mobility”. As coordinator of the HaFoLa infrastructure project, Alias presented the test center for innovative port and handling technologies currently under construction at DST and addressed the huge research and development potential in the topic area of future port logistics.

One development which will be tested at HaFoLa over the course of its project duration is the collaborative robot from the CoboTank research project, which is intended to support the loading of inland tank vessels. On 20 September 2022, Markus Nieradzik from the Dept. of Mechatronics at the University of Duisburg-Essen addressed the objectives of the project, the development stages, and the planned demonstrators at HaFoLa and at the European Safety Center Duisburg (ESD) at the Schiffer-Berufskolleg RHEIN, a vocational school for inland skippers, in his presentation at this year’s Autonomous Inland and Short Sea Shipping Conference (AISS) in Duisburg.

You can find out more about

  • the BinSmart research project here: BinSmart
  • the CoboTank research project here: CoboTank
  • the DeConTrans research project here: DeConTrans
  • the HaFoLa construction project here: HaFoLa


Cyril Alias, Phone: +49 (0)203 / 99 369 52, Mail: alias@dst-org.de

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    Development Centre for
    Ship Technology and Transport Systems

    Oststr. 77
    47057 Duisburg

    Tel.: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 0
    Fax: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 70

    E-Mail: dst@dst-org.de