Establishing an inner-city logistics centre

Basic Information






Thematic areas

Urban logistics


The logistics centre helps to shift the modal split in favour of environmentally friendly traffic, reducing the amount of freight traffic in the city.

Implementing sustainable mobility

With the volume of freight traffic in the city, the measure was undertaken with the aim of reducing the number of lorry-kilometres on city roads by improving logistic services and developing inland navigation, railway traffic and haulage by road using distribution lorries powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

The tri-modal inner-city logistics centre in Westhafen is managed by BEHALA, the Berlin harbour and storage company. Its central location encourages environmentally friendly inland water navigation and railway traffic, so that only short distances have to be covered by lorry.


The first container ship transportation started from Westhafen in November 2002, and BEHALA was meanwhile in negotiation with other shipping companies to promote its innovative logistics services.

Unfortunately, German Railways reduced the regular train services to and from Westhafen in 2003, which affected the operations of the logistics centre. However, the tri-modal logistics centre was able to become fully operational after the takeover of some container trains by BEHALA following the TELLUS project.

Meanwhile, BEHALA pursued its goal of reducing the negative environmental impacts of freight transportation by supporting the introduction of environmentally friendly CNG-powered lorries.


Technical information for haulage companies was prepared in order to introduce CNG-powered lorries for the haulage of goods from the port, although there was no supply of heavy goods CNG lorries for transporting containers.

BEHALA Westhafen is Berlin’s most important logistics centre and an indispensable part of Berlin’s economy.

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