Liverpool mission to take logistics lessons from Germany

Posted 9th December 2015
6 minutes read
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A Liverpool City Region delegation tour Berlin and Hamburg to bring best practice logistics, port management and advanced manufacturing lessons to boost Liverpool’s growth plans.

A delegation of 12 senior businessmen and women from the Liverpool City Region are gaining insights into “best practice” industrial logistics on a research visit to Berlin and Hamburg.

Led by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, representatives from Alstom Transport, Merseytravel, Hugh Baird College, City of Liverpool College, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Riverside College will meet experts from the Siemens Training Centre in Berlin, the Hamburg Port Authority and Germany’s Ministry for Economy, Transport and Innovation.

The three-day mission was devised to understand how Germany organises its manufacturing, logistics, freight and, crucially, the training that supports these vital components of industry. Hamburg especially has transformed its port operations in the last decade and is now the second busiest port in Europe.

The trip was devised by Mark Basnett, Executive Director of Liverpool LEP and Bernard Molloy, Chair of Superport Liverpool, the global multimodal freight and logistics hub, to understand and potentially adopt practices that will help Liverpool’s ambitious plans to be the number one commercial port and logistics operation in the UK.

“Liverpool2’s capability to handle the majority of vessels in the global fleet will make it the number one gateway for international containerfreight to the North of England, Scotland and much of the rest of the UK,” said Mr Molloy, who is also Global Industrial Logistics Director for Unipart Logistics. “We are going to save freight companies in haulage costs from ports in the South.”

“The Port of Hamburg has been through a total modernisation process, it has world-class training for logistics personnel that applies the Dual Education training system and modern, Internet of Things-enabled technologies to improve productivity. We can take lessons from Germany in many ways if we are going to build a leading, greener port and infrastructure system, starting in the North West but right across Britain.”

The delegation visited the Siemens Tecknik Academie and Siemens Training Centre on December 7, to learn about how Germany is training manufacturing employees in new skills such as infomatics and mechatronics to improve productivity, before travelling to Hamburg, named Germany’s “Gateway to the World”, on Tuesday.

“We have brought an advanced manufacturing delegation too, and we wanted to visit Siemens in Berlin to see their world-class training facility and how the latest automation and “Industry 4.0” processes are being implemented in manufacturing,” said Molloy. “You need to plan the whole thing together to realise efficiencies – a world class deep water container terminal, Liverpool2, but also manufacturing and material handling to feed it, where everything is integrated more efficiently, including the training.”

In Hamburg the group were joined by German specialist logistics firms including Donner & Reuschel, Uniconsult and Accordo Partners before touring the Port of Hamburg to field questions on port planning, port development and strategy.

On Wednesday the group will meet with the Ministry for Economy, Transport and Innovation to understand the economic strategy, development, IT and infrastructure in Hamburg, which transformed itself in the 2000s from an unremarkable port city to a modern international port with best-in-class material handling and logistics operations.

Finally, the delegation will talk to Hamburg Airport about its development and potential links. Liverpool John Lennon Airport has developed into one of the UK’s busiest regional airports, but it believes there is a great opportunity to further develop links with Hamburg and the wider German market.

The tour completes on December 9. The Liverpool LEP will disseminate the findings to the local business community. For more information contact: Claire Delahunty at or Tel. 01512373956