Reference article 10/2023

Cast off!

The Lübeck Port Authority processes the harbor area on land, on and under water with a solution from UDS based on the Autodesk AEC Collection


What conditions need to be created to enable economic growth and environmental protection at the same time? Accompanied by UDS, the Lübeck Port Authority has laid the foundations for this with a digital inventory. Thanks to consulting, training and software development by UDS, a well-rounded solution has been created that makes both new planning and rescheduling as well as the continuous updating of inventory data easy.


Lübeck Port Authority
Einsiedelstraße 6 / Gebäude 96
23554 Lübeck

Phone: 0234 / 87 96-0

When you think Baltic Sea port, you think Port of Lübeck. The port area stretches from the city center to the mouth of the Trave River over around 265 hectares; the connection to the Elbe-Lübeck Canal and to the rail and road network make the port attractive for cargo handling. The Lübeck Port Authority (LPA) is responsible for all questions and tasks relating to the port. The company is responsible for the port railroad, port planning and construction, hydraulic engineering and water management and much more.

Focus on environmental protection

An important goal of the LPA is to strengthen the economic power of the port while at the same time taking environmental protection issues into account. In Lübeck, it is also a matter of (re)creating floodplain land on the banks of the River Trave and thus satisfying both ecological and flood protection requirements.

Recording the existing situation - facilitating communication

The LPA defined demanding steps for the affected areas of the port railroad, port facilities and waterways in order to achieve the goal: The first task was to document the existing situation and thus create the basis for continuous updating and high-quality planning - for areas on land, on and under the water. Communication between the departments involved was to be simplified, also to make it easier for new employees to familiarize themselves with the system. The prerequisite for this was to develop guidelines for the consistency of the various data, to enforce their application and to regularly check their applicability. All of this had to be implemented within a few months.

The right companion

In UDS GmbH, LPA found a partner who supported the company every step of the way: the collaboration began with a comprehensive analysis. This was used to develop a strategy and concepts for implementation. UDS provided support in the selection of the standard software and took over implementation and training. Missing interfaces and adaptations to the special requirements of the LPA were developed and combined with the standard solutions to form a complete package. This complete package also included optimized workflows that simplified communication.

All-rounder DWG

The core of the software solution is the Autodesk AEC Collection with its comprehensive options. LPA primarily uses AutoCAD, Civil 3D and ReCap Pro from this collection. One of the important decision criteria is the fact that all software programs can read, process and save files in DWG format. The file format is highly accurate (<= 1mm), and plans can be almost any size, so that the port area of around 58 square kilometers can be mapped.

Data pool for all formats

Aerial images, plans in DWG format and sonar data from the underwater survey were georeferenced and stored in a data pool. This makes it easier to update the data by simply adding newer files to the pool. Data is managed in this pool regardless of its format.

Customized software development

UDS developed tools to simplify operation. This enables LPA employees to create sheet-free and scale-independent, precisely fitting plans in just a few simple steps. The original data is retained in full and can be used again and again flexibly and without any loss of quality.

The investment has paid off

Thomas Roth, port planner at LPA, was involved in the project right from the start: "As a port authority, we are very much in the public eye. We have to deliver visible results quickly. This put us under a lot of pressure at the start of the project. Working with UDS, we quickly realized that we were on the right track and making rapid progress." Planning and implementation were completed in less than three months. The employees quickly got used to their new tools and now process the port areas quickly and easily. UDS is still on board with training, support and updates. Those responsible at LPA are certain: the benefits of the system are evident on a daily basis and outweigh the costs of implementation many times over.

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