University of Hamburg team tackle berth errors

The University of Hamburg beat off the competition to win the E1,000 cash prize at this year’s PEMA Student Challenge which took place at TOC Europe in Rotterdam.

Shortlisted teams from the University of Hamburg, the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg and Blekinge Institute of Technology from Sweden each delivered a 30 minute presentation in answer to the set question on how to mitigate the consequences of berth errors.

A panel of experts posed questions to the students after each presentation and after deliberation unanimously voted the Univerity of Hamburg team as the winners.

The competition is part of PEMA’s educational outreach programme. It describes the Student Challenge as a “fun and lively way to expose students to the real business of the ports and terminal world”.

Vessels arriving late to or missing their allocated berth spaces cause substantial congestion and affect performance in ports. These berth errors can then lead to knock-on berth errors at following ports in the rotation.

Carly Fields, one of the judges and Editor for Port Strategy magazine, said: “The judges were impressed by the University of Hamburg’s grasp of the challenge. The winning team presented a very suitable solution, which was practical, usable and has the potential to be implemented at port’s facing the challenges of dealing with berth error.”

The successful team – Daniel Frontzek, Julia Werner, Katia Busse, Christina Pastor Brandt and Nathalie Ludwig – also won the opportunity to deliver their presentation to APM Terminals executives at its headquarters in The Hague.

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