Since July 2017, the Hamburg Fleet combines the City’s ships under a sole fleet management. This founding provides added value for the City and the port. The fleet contains about 50 ships, mostly harbor ships with different functions – firefighting boats, police ships, ice breaker, survey and transportation ships. In addition, the Hamburg Fleet operates a dredger and about 40 barges. The vision of the Hamburg Fleet consists of two elements:
Economics: The Hamburg Fleet achieves its financial goals and operates at a profit, newbuildings are financed through the capital market.
Innovation: In addition to a high rate of digitalization, the Hamburg Fleet is an “innovation driver” in terms of sustainability for other public companies and private ship operators in the port.
The port of Hamburg is located in the city center. Therefore, not only climate protection, but especially the reduction of air pollutants such as nitric oxide and particulate matter play a crucial role in public discussions. With the founding of the company, the instructions of the City of Hamburg to the Hamburg Fleet are to pioneer environmental protection around the harbor. As environmental protection contains multiple aspects, the Hamburg Fleet came up with a five-pillar concept for its environmental strategy, which is integrated in the general policy of its parent-company “Hamburg Port Authority”:
Use of innovative, low emission, fuels
Exhaust gas treatments in newbuildings
Retrofit with exhaust gas treatments
Use and testing of innovative propulsion technologies
Energy–efficient ship operation
The Hamburg Fleet is aware that this concept is not directly applicable to the global shipping industry. However, it sets an innovative standard – for Hamburg and for other ports.