IHK and Duisburger Hafen AG discuss the growth opportunities for the region at the museum Küppersmühle
Duisburg, 30.08.2016 | Standing still means moving backwards The Port of Duisburg is tackling a number of new challenges in its anniversary year. The digital transformation offers even more opportunities for increasing the connection between industry and logistics.
“If you want to talk about industry and innovation, you have to start with logistics” - this was the resounding tenor of the this event, where 100 invited guests from the political and business arena came together yesterday to discuss the future outlook for the Port of Duisburg at the museum Küppersmühle. The guests were top-class, the discussions were lively and the insights unanimous: Duisburg and the region will only benefit from the increasingly connectivity between logistics and industry if the right environment is created quickly: Rapid digitization, better infrastructure and market-oriented cooperation between large and small companies. This idea was expressed very clearly by the two former premiers of the state North Rhine-Westphalia, Wolfgang Clement and Prof. Jürgen Rüttgers, with views that cross party lines: Education and infrastructure are the key success factors for sustained growth in industry and logistics.
The invitation to this evening was extended by Duisburger Hafen AG on the occasion of its 300 year anniversary, and the Niederrheinische Industrie- und Handelskammer Duisburg-Wesel-Kleve. The exchange about the future of the logistics industry in combination with digitization and industry documented quite clearly that the Port of Duisburg is not only the logistics hub in the heart of Europe, but also an indispensable driver for the industrial development on the Rhine and Ruhr.
Niederrheinische IHK: Strong commitment to logistics and industry
Burkhard Landers, President of the Niederrheinische IHK, congratulated the Port of Duisburg on its birthday on behalf of the business community, and in his welcoming address noted as follows: “During its 300 year history, the port was an important trend-setter and driver for economic growth in the region.” In this context, there was also the political will to pave the way for the port to develop from a pure handling location to a European logistics hub. “In that respect, the anniversary of the port should motivate everyone, politicians, companies and citizens alike, to see infrastructure decisions for what they really are: Investments in workplaces and growth,” according to Landers. The strong commitment of policymakers to set up an anchoring location in Ruhrort in the year 1716 paved the way for 300 years of successful growth in the port.
Impulses for business innovations
The IHK president emphasized that the logistics industry in Duisburg maintains excellent networks with industry but also research institutions and universities. The increasing connectivity between production and logistics is the result of the digital transformation. The Niederrheinische IHK is committed to driving forward the potential that exists in the region. Its surveys have shown that two-thirds of the companies surveyed on the Niederrhein perceive excellent opportunities in the digital transformation. Landers noted the electronic management of truck traffic in the port as a successful example.
Strong infrastructure creates workplaces
In his speech, duisport CEO Erich Staake pointed to the Port of Duisburg's considerable contribution to employment in the region: “Every eighth workplace in our city depends on the port, for a total of 22,000 regular and viable workplaces in Duisburg alone. “But further growth will only be possible against strong headwinds from outside: We have to reinvent ourselves. The market demands it: double-digit growth rates in the container business are a thing of the past. Containerization has reached 95 percent, and in all large sea ports of northern and central Europe - with the world's largest inland port of Duisburg still an exception in this regard - container volumes are already declining. In addition, we are also facing a global economic slowdown. Therefore additional growth can only come from higher-quality services and improved efficiencies.”
According to Staake, the duisport Group and the entire logistics industry will need to digitize more of their processes to achieve good results in the future: “Industry must familiarize itself with new business models and manufacturing methods - and the logistics industry is asked to adjust its services to these changes, and in some cases must also become the driver behind a joint digitization strategy.”
New ideas, new companies, new jobs: New incubator planned!
At the same time, North Rhine-Westphalia, as the industrial heartland and leading logistics region in Europe, is in an excellent position to become a trend-setter for digitization on both sides of the value chain. Because this is where the connectivity between industry and logistics is already very established.
Staake also announced that the Port of Duisburg, together with a DAX company and the University Duisburg-Essen, will set up an incubator for start-ups at the end of the year. “We want to connect start-ups with successful industrial companies,” says Staake. This can create “a nucleus for additional start-up centers in the Rhine-Ruhr region”.
Media contact IHK:
Tel. +49 203 28 21 211
Media contakt Duisburger Hafen AG:
Tel. +49 203 803-4465