Duisburg Gateway Terminal selects INFORM to aid sustainability strides


INFORM has been chosen by Duisburg Gateway Terminal to implement advanced AI solutions, enhancing efficiency and sustainability at Europe’s first CO2-neutral intermodal terminal.

From left to right: Sven Zölle (DGT), Alex van Winckel (INFORM), and Christoph Kahlert (DGT) © duisport

INFORM, the AI and optimisation software leader, has been selected by Duisburg Gateway Terminal (DGT) to introduce advanced AI-based solutions to kick off terminal operations and ensure optimised conditions. This collaboration marks a significant step in enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of intermodal logistics, particularly with the establishment of Europe’s first CO2-neutral intermodal terminal in Duisburg.

DGT, set to become Europe’s largest intermodal terminal, is poised to revolutionise logistics with its ambitious annual throughput goal of 850,000 TEU. Situated on Duisburg’s historical coal island, the terminal is committed to eco-friendly operations, which will be carried out exclusively with fossil fuel-free crane systems and vehicles. Indicatively, DGT will cover an area of 235,000 square meters in total, handling up to 1 million containers per year across its six cranes and 12 rail tracks, with daily operations for 20 trains, around 400 trucks, and 6 ships.

The partnership with INFORM is a testament to the pivotal role of AI in modernising terminal operations, streamlining processes, and reducing environmental impact. “This collaboration with INFORM is a game-changer for us. It allows us to fully exploit the potential of AI in our terminal operations, laying a solid foundation for DGT’s operational excellence,” commented Sven Zölle, Managing Director at Duisburg Gateway Terminal GmbH.

Getting the full package

By leveraging INFORM’s expertise in AI-driven optimisation, DGT aims to enhance efficiency across various facets of terminal management. These include barge handling, crane optimisation, optimised train loading, optimised container stacking, billing module integration and, last but not least, an integrated booking platform interface.

INFORM’s add-on AI and optimisation approach takes a modular approach to adding advanced intelligence to Terminal Operating Systems (TOS). This path allows INFORM to isolate specific challenges and provide unique solutions for operations. This approach minimises risk and maximises ROI, often measured in months, not years.

INFORM offers five industry-proven optimisation modules: Crane Optimizer (CO), Yard Optimizer (YO), Vehicle Optimizer (VO), Train Load Optimizer (TLO) and Rail Scheduler (RS). These modules are designed to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance revenues. They support various equipment types and operational modes, ensuring a tailored fit for any terminal’s needs. Their operation is enhanced by advanced Machine Learning (ML) which improves the input of all five modules.

For instance, the Crane Optimizer increases crane productivity by reducing travel and equipment interferences, leveraging double-cycling moves when suitable. It supports all types of overhead crane equipment (RTGs, RMGs, ASCs) and modes of operation (manual, semi- or fully-automated). The Yard Optimizer provides an optimised yard allocation for load units to reduce rehandles and improve resource and storage area utilisation, focusing on both real-time container moves and housekeeping (or grooming) moves.

The Vehicle Optimizer increases vehicle utilisation across all equipment types while reducing travel and lowering maintenance costs. It is suitable for all horizontal transport equipment types and any fleet size, supporting all operational modes and shift scheduling requirements (pooling or gang). The Train Load Optimizer plans and updates the stowing of outbound trains, improving slot utilisation and business objectives and efficiently planning outbound trainloads in seconds.

“We are thrilled to partner with the team at DGT on this groundbreaking project,” underscored Alex van Winckel, Director Strategic Relations and Sales at INFORM’s Terminal & Distribution Center Logistics Division. “This expanded suite of services underscores our commitment to delivering a highly efficient, scalable, and sustainable operating environment for DGT, utilising cutting-edge AI to optimise every aspect of terminal operations,” he added.

The right company for the right mission

With a legacy of over five decades in AI and optimisation software, INFORM has catered to diverse sectors, including ports and intermodal terminals. This is the element that really ties the partnership with DGT together.

As the company underlines, “There are big differences between maritime and intermodal terminal operations. While the core reason for existing is the same, processes, equipment, complexity, and constraints all vary greatly from their maritime cousins. What works in maritime isn’t guaranteed to work in the hinterland.”

The modular approach INFORM uses to AI, and optimisation solutions provide space for tailored enhancements to existing systems, allowing terminals like DGT to leverage advanced technologies without disrupting their infrastructure. “As optimisation specialists, we live and breathe finding elegant solutions for complex challenges and translating those into improved bottom lines for our customers”. With over 28 years of experience in optimising the terminal logistics industry, INFORM’s solutions are trusted by global giants like DP World, PSA, HHLA and intermodal operators like KTL, Ziel Terminal, and Norfolk Southern.

In the software provider’s view, “intermodal operators who are either only getting into the TOS space or looking to evolve from their legacy operational systems to support their transformation towards automation and growth, could benefit greatly from INFORM’s bespoke Intermodal TOS, with optimisation built into its core”.