Managing complexity – NTB Bremerhaven

Highlights at a glance

  • Strong fluctuations in capacity utilization
  • Highly complex personnel logistics at 18 container gantry cranes
  • Specific qualifications in 3-shift planning all factored in 
  • Averting downtimes in the absence or expiry of qualifications
  • Mapping of the challenging regulations and tariffs of port operations
  • Shift plans via smartphone

Discover more success stories 

Logistics companies have to be able to cope with extreme fluctuations in orders and workloads. Cargo handling in ports is especially impacted, as it is directly dependent on global economic developments. NTB North Sea Terminal Bremerhaven (NTB) handles more than 3 million TEU per year. As one of the most important container hubs in Northern Europe, the company connects more than 130 ports around the world. At a total of 18 container cranes, NTB processes 45 ships a week. This is only possible through the effective interaction of qualified employees and the most advanced technology. Fast, powerful gantry cranes are capable of loading or discharging 23 containers side by side on the decks of the new giant container ships. To do so, the staffing of the teams maintaining three-shift operations has to be exactly right. This applies particularly to the waterside units. Each unit consists of ten employees with specific qualifications – from gantry crane and van carrier drivers, via lashers and Navis operators to jumpers and a signalman on deck. Gantry cranes can only work with a suitably qualified, complete crew. Any absence and every missing or expired qualification brings the entire system to a standstill. 

We have to ensure smooth operations around the clock on 360 days of the year. Staff flexibility is a critical success factor in this process.


Kay Entholt
Human Resources Manager, NTB North Sea Terminal Bremerhaven

Which is the reason why NTB relies on the ATOSS Logistics Solution to schedule the shifts for its roughly 630 production workers. All the relevant factors such as legislation, absences, working time balances, qualifications, staff requests and specific agreements are incorporated into the planning process. The complicated regulations and pay-scales governing port operations are also automatically factored in. All 750 NTB employees are integrated into the working time management system via Self Services. And when they are on the move, employees can use a PC or smartphone to
view the shift plans, check their working time accounts and submit holiday applications. In this way, NTB is ensuring the best possible personnel logistics.

Source: ATOSS Customer NTB North Sea Terminal Bremerhaven | ATOSS Annual Report 2015

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