NFR Part of the non-financial-report

Personnel development

HHLA invested a total of € 5.3 million in educating and training staff at its locations in Hamburg in 2020 (previous year: € 4.6 million).

As of 31 December 2020, 55 apprentices and 21 students were receiving training in Germany in six different professions and six dual study courses. 25 % of the 76 apprentices and students were female. The ratio of female students in 2020 was 33 % (previous year: 50 %).

Further details on the employee structure can be found in the management report. Employees / employee structure

The three-year average of the annual trend in expenditure for initial training, in-company training and continuing professional development in relation to headcount is one of the targets agreed with the Executive Board and is taken into account when determining Executive Board remuneration. Achieving the agreed target range triggers the payment of a corresponding bonus. Corporate governance / remuneration report

Continuing professional development (CPD)

In 2020, staff development at HHLA in Germany focused on the development of new formats as well as on the adaptation of existing and new training formats in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In total, over 691 events lasting one or more days were held in the reporting period, some of which were in digital format as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Of the training and education measures available, over 540 internal vocational courses were conducted by HHLA’s own trainers over 2,613 training days. In addition, 151 events lasting one or more days with over 2,400 participant days were organised as part of the company’s cross-segment seminar programme. As in the previous year, 35 % of participants were female.

The continuation of successfully implemented training opportunities for developing specialist staff and managers, for agile project management and for developing new focus areas in training and education with regard to future skills required at HHLA remain the key strategic aims for the current and future years.

Closely accompanying the change processes of several digital transformation projects was a focal point of staff development and the promotion of more network-oriented and cross-functional cooperation within the HHLA Group. This is illustrated by the following examples.

The introduction of the latest generation of Microsoft products aims to make cooperation more efficient, more transparent and of better quality.

The SAP-S4/HANA launch project, which involves HHLA delivery processes being reviewed and, if necessary, redeveloped as part of an “end-to-end” approach, is aimed at making responsibility for successful change management part of staff development right from the start.

Prior to the launch of the new operating software NAVIS N4, 54 employees are being trained to become multipliers as part of the Fit4Future Pilots scheme. This training measure was certified and supported by the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) on the basis of the Qualification Opportunities Act. In four one-week modules, employees are trained to become points of contact to help guide their colleagues on site through the changes to processes brought about by the digital transformation.

The first intake of the “Future Pilots” internal training programme launched in late 2019 in partnership with the Maritime Competence Centre (ma-co) successfully graduated in 2020 and a second group has already started. In the course of various modules, specialist staff and managers were specifically trained in handling innovation processes and the digital transformation of the HHLA Group.

During the reporting period, the “Future Workshop” project was also launched at the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA). Together with those responsible in operations and members of the works council, the aim is to come up with ideas for the future of work at the port. In an unbiased and innovative atmosphere, this format will hopefully address issues that will lead to a shared outlook for the future.

Vocational training and studying

HHLA offers a range of apprenticeships and dual study courses based on human resource planning at the companies in Hamburg. While vocational training focuses on technical and commercial occupations, dual study courses offer qualifications in business administration, as well as in technical subjects and IT.

Existing partnerships with vocational colleges, specialised grammar schools and secondary schools were used again in 2020 to recruit suitable candidates for the so-called STEM professions (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). To further increase the proportion of female apprentices in STEM professions, technical internships were offered in particular to schoolgirls. The careers in which the company offers apprenticeships are presented at training fairs and schools by the respective departments with the aid of current apprentices. Since many on-site visits were not possible due to restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, many events were held digitally. This enabled the company to participate in five fairs in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region in 2020.

Training is enhanced by supplementary offerings to prepare for future demands within HHLA’s operating environment. Apprentices and dual study course students take responsibility in various projects, enabling them to expand their project and digital skills. In cross-functional teams, they help design the company’s employer branding and social media presence of the careers website for their own target group. During a dedicated training week, dual study course students carried out a digital design thinking workshop to address the question of how they could contribute to the innovative strength and creative power of HHLA.


In maritime logistics, a terminal is a facility where freight transported by various modes of transport is handled.