Planning for Logistics and Distribution Facilities in the Hamburg Region

Planning for Logistics and Distribution Facilities in the Hamburg Region


T Wagner, Hamburg University of Technology, Institute for Transport Planning and Logistics, DE


The region of Hamburg is facing a high demand for new logistics and distribution facilities. This requires integrated planning. Based on traffic counts and company surveys, a method for assessing and comparing development sites was developed.


Currently, a high demand for new logistics and distribution facilities can be observed. Especially regions with an international transport gateway like an airport or a seaport are facing logistics related land consumption and expect further growth rates of freight traffic. For example, container turnover in Hamburg harbour is expected to double up to the year 2015. In the same time, there is an estimated demand for logistics and distribution facilities of 40 ha per year in the region of Hamburg. Some of these facilities will be directly related to the harbour, others will primarily serve goods distribution to the urban area.

In growing regions like Hamburg, land availability is limited and potential land use conflicts are high. As a consequence, hinterland communities more willing to accept the development of logistics areas are competing for companies, resulting in uncoordinated and traffic intensive growth in hinterland areas. This form of development leads to further sprawl and complicates traffic and space efficiencies.

The purpose of the paper is to show how the development of new logistics facilities and areas can be integrated into urban, regional and transport planning. The study is based on empirical analyses of the logistics sector and on different development scenarios for new areas dedicated to logistics land use in the Hamburg region.

First of all, more information on space-consumption and traffic generation of logistics facilities (i.e. warehouses, distribution centres, truck depots, container storage) is needed. Besides noise and emissions, these factors highly determine how compatible these facilities are with other forms of land use, particularly housing. They also define the infrastructure demand. However, there is very limited literature on characteristics and size of logistics facilities and on how to estimate their trip generation.

This paper presents selected results of two surveys recently conducted in the Hamburg region. A company survey was carried out in order to observe what services logistics companies offer, what patterns of land use and operating times they show, how many truck trips they generate, and how the trips are performed (mode, time of the day, etc.). The second was a traffic count within two areas with a concentration of logistics companies. As a result of these surveys, general trip generation rates could be calculated and different types of logistics land use could be identified and described.

The results of this empirical work make it possible to better integrate new areas dedicated to logistics facilities into urban, regional and transport planning processes. Using the region of Hamburg as a case study, two questions will be discussed:
- How much traffic is generated by new logistics areas?
- Can a strategic location of areas and functions reduce traffic and or the impact on the urban environment?
In order to answer these questions, an assessment method for the location of new logistics areas is presented.

The presentation will include the relevant results of the empirical work and the assessment of the development of potential logistics areas for the case study Hamburg. The results contribute to addressing the challenge of integrating growing demand for logistics areas into urban, regional and transport planning.


Association for European Transport