Ultra-Large Vessels

The number of ultra large vessels calling at the Port of Hamburg has been on the increase for years. They include not only container ships, but also bulkers and cruise ships. These vessels are more than 330 metres long and/or over 45 metres wide.

This is resulting in some major challenges for the terminals, shipping companies and authorities. With the Nautical Terminal Coordination (NTC), a department of the HVCC, a body is in place to handle the centralised operational coordination of ultra-large vessel calls – long before a vessel proceeds up the estuary of the Elbe River.

The NTC’s duties include cross-terminal operational coordination of the preliminary planning, approach guidance and departure planning of ultra-large vessels in the Port of Hamburg. This creates a complete operational overview, which the NTC coordinates 24 hours a day with the Vessel Traffic Service Centre in Hamburg and the Elbe pilots, who were closely involved in developing the NTC concept.

Our services

For the shipping companies and customers of the Port of Hamburg, the NTC is available free of charge as a central, operational point of contact for the arrival and departure of their vessels. The NTC is on hand to actively assist the shipping companies and brokers when planning their vessels’ passage to the port.


For its partner terminals, the NTC pools all the different operational information to create a complete overview. This enables it to identify conflict situations at an early stage and develop solutions. Any terminal in the Port of Hamburg can become a partner of the NTC. For the Hamburg Vessel Traffic Service Centre and the Elbe pilots, the NTC takes charge of coordinating communications across all terminal facilities on behalf of the terminals. Conversely, the NTC is available 24 hours a day as a point of contact for the authorities and pilots.


Shipping companies

Service providers

Authorities and pilots


HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center GmbH

Department Nautical Terminal Coordination (NTC)

Office address: Container Terminal Tollerort, Am Vulkanhafen 30, 20457 Hamburg

E-mail: ntk@hhla.de

Phone: +49 40 74001-4333