Case Study

Lübecker Hafen-Gesellschaft and leogistics: digitalized billing processes for increased transparency

Lübecker Hafen-Gesellschaft mbH (LHG) is Germany’s largest port operator for rolling cargo on the Baltic Sea. LHG’s terminals offer more than 90 departures a week to 20 partner ports worldwide. Modern IT systems are essential to guarantee customers optimal transport conditions 365 days a year. In order to maintain its high quality standards, the company decided to entrust leogistics GmbH with the replacement and modernization of its current logistics software with the yard management solution leogistics d.s.c. after a large and extensive tender.   

Logo lhg
Lübecker Hafen-Gesellschaft mbH was founded in 1934. As the largest port operator for rolling cargo on the Baltic Sea, the company creates jobs for more than 700 employees, including shareholdings. From forwarding services and order picking to truck and wagon services, LHG’s experts offer customized solutions.
With increasing cargo throughput and more complex logistical processes in the port, the requirements for logistics software also grew. In the process, the outdated accounting processes in Lübeck became more and more of a problem. In the past, LHG did a lot of its accounting manually. This meant that day-to-day operations could not always be carried out optimally and there was friction in operational processing. In addition, the manual completion of order forms was time-consuming, costly and personnel-intensive.  By opting for the leogistics d.s.c. software, LHG laid the foundation for replacing the LHG Group’s current logistics solution (IHS 2.0) on a staggered basis according to business processes and implementing a more modern standardized tool. The first step has been taken: LHG is now using the module of the leogistics invoicing program productively for seaward processes. Customers are now able to create orders electronically and enter data such as the number of freight units, type of packaging and delivery date. This means that invoicing takes place almost in real time, is less error-prone and the process is more harmonious. 

High demands on the new digital billing system

At the heart of the requirements for an IT solution for LHG was a modern order and billing management system based on a standard yard solution. A special role was played by a new digital order form to be introduced, as well as the differences between seaward and landside billing of services in the port. This resulted in the following complex target picture.  LHG’s customers were to be able to place orders for services to cargo units and track the status of the order via a web portal operated by the port company. LHG wanted to be able to use a desktop application to check and process the orders received and approve or reject them for execution. To process and document work orders, a mobile app was to be used in the port itself. LHG, in turn, wanted to be able to check and process completed orders via the desktop application and release them for billing.   The background to this is that seaward billing for services performed during a ship’s call, such as unloading, loading, gate charging, pre-stowing, etc., is carried out directly to the shipping companies. Port charges are also invoiced in this way. On the land side, the focus is on billing the owner of a freight unit for services not related to ships, e.g. unloading containers from trucks, accepting and loading new vehicles, storage, etc. The billing of the owner of a freight unit is also done in this way.   

A major challenge of the project was to reconcile the interests of the different stakeholders. One must not forget that the seemingly clear processes consist of complex sub-processes. Different stakeholders act in each sub-process. Making these multidimensional processes run smoothly is an extensive task.

Marco Mohr
Project Manager leogistics GmbH

Finding solutions together with the help of workshops

The core system for the new billing solution had already been created in a previous project. To secure this solution, the transfer of operational data from the LHG logistics system had to be clarified before the rough concept was drawn up. leogistics now further developed the system according to LHG’s wishes. To this end, the partners jointly defined in several workshops the criteria according to which the service materials would be invoiced.In the end, the most important criterion in LHG’s decision in favor of leogistics d.s.c. was to map all billing steps digitally – the manual and paper-based effort was simply too great in the past. Today, the integration of the leogistics d.s.c. billing solution creates a link to the existing Terminal Operating System (IHS 2.0) and the LHG Group’s current SAP ERP installation, digitizing a previously manual process.   

leogistics d.s.c. unites the different requirements

The existing TOS of the LHG now transmits operational data on ship calls, freight units and services performed to leogistics d.s.c.. The latter now provides billing data for the seaborne orders of the Lübeck terminals completely digitally. The LHG’s billing department checks the data on ship calls, edits it if necessary, and adds any missing data. The system processes the processed ship calls, creates digital billing documents and transfers them to Enterprise Resource Planning. This in turn creates sales orders and invoices from the documents. Information about shore-based services performed is taken from the new digital order form and transferred from a previous system to leogistics d.s.c.. The mapping there takes place in yard documents, activities and a status 

The package of standard software solutions from leogistics GmbH offers a technically high-quality approach across all processes. It has a structured modular design, an integrated solution for fast data flow, and the ability to make adjustments yourself at any time. Optimal planning, real-time information of process states and flexibility: these are precisely the factors that make a port 'smart'.

Tom Patrik Österreich
CIO - Lübecker Hafen-Gesellschaft mbH

The result: fewer errors and higher speed with significantly reduced manual effort. The bottom line is that the LHG thus saves both time and money in the settlement of seaborne orders. In the future, the company will also digitize its landside billing processes and other sub-processes step by step using the digital order form. In addition to Yard Management, the introduction of theleogistics Railmodule is in the works. This will provide a solution approach for all modes of transport and application areas in the future. The full integration of the individual modes of transport plays an important role for the LHG.  

A look into the next project phases of the future

  • Integration with the port railway project  
  • Terminals with rail connection   
  • Productive implementation of the optimization of the rail-terminal transition   
  • Connection of a crane and process optimizer at the KV terminal Skandinavienkai  
  • Traingate integration into the overall solution



Are you interested in state-of-the-art logistics solutions? Then I am your contact person. I look forward to your call or your message via contact form.

Christiaan Carstens Portrait

Christiaan Carstens
Member of the Management Board

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