Research project: SchleusenNOK40 1Together with the partners dbh Logistics IT AG, Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS and TTS TRIMODE Transport Solutions GmbH, the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration launched the SchleufenNOK40 project in April 2020.

The SchleusenNOK40 project

The aim of the project is to optimize lock management on the North Sea Canal. On the basis of the available data streams and in combination with the practical experience of the specialists on site, an intelligent lock management and information system for the Nord-Ostsee Canal is created.

Research project: SchleusenNOK40 2


Research project: SchleusenNOK40 3The North Sea Canal (NOK) is one of the busiest waterways in the world. It reduces the journey distance, travel time and also the fuel requirements of ships on the route between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The decisions on this waterway are based on the many years of experience of the lock masters of the Waterways and Shipping Office. . Due to constant changes in traffic flows, the own (short-term) pre-planning of a lock order is constantly changed, since there is no data base on current traffic volume in the sense of long-term, reliable pre-notification and planning.

Project objective

The main goal of the SchleusenNOK40 project is improved lock management through data-based traffic forecasting and knowledge-based planning and optimization procedures.

The aim is to better support the lock personnel in their decisions through locksNOK40. For road users, the data should be used to better plan the expected waiting and handling times at the locks.


Comprehensive data sets and sources (weather and climate data, navigation and geodata, etc.) are to be bundled in one system. The aim is to make forecasts using machine learning methods and stochastic analysis methods. The experience of the lock personnel is incorporated into the development of the planning tool.

About the project partners

dbh Logistics IT AG is one of the leading companies in logistics IT in Germany. Since 1973, the company has been developing industry solutions for shipping and port, forwarding and logistics as well as industry and trade in the fields of port management, customs and foreign trade, compliance, transport management and SAP. dbh offers its customers the complete service in the implementation of IT projects. The portfolio ranges from consulting to conception and implementation to the operation of the complete IT landscape of customers. In this project, dbh will take over the overall coordination, as well as the leading and integrating role in the conception and realization of the lock management platform including the connection of the participants.

Fraunhofer FOKUS researches digital networking and its impact on society, economy and technology. Since 1988, it has supported business enterprises and public administration in the design and implementation of digital change. With around 450 employees in Berlin and an annual budget of 33 million euros, Fraunhofer FOKUS is one of the largest ICT institutes in the Fraunhofer Society. It generates about 80 percent of its budget from contracts with industry and the public sector. As a scientific partner, Fraunhofer FOKUS brings its planning and predictive skills to the project through appropriate algorithm selection and adaptation as well as the development of software components.

The team of TTS TRIMODE Transport Solutions GmbH has been advising ministries, local authorities and the private sector on the solution of complex issues and research projects in passenger and freight transport for several decades. For more than 30 years, team members of TTS TRIMODE have been involved in transport science issues and problems as well as continuously working on the Federal Transport Route Planning of the Federal Government (BVWP). The main focus of TTS TRIMODE is the preparation of transport-scientific studies and expert opinions, forecasts, benefit-cost and feasibility studies as well as regional economic analyses. In the project, TTS TRIMODE will carry out a feasibility and risk analysis with regard to the extended lock management and information system.

The Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) operates the locks on the Nord-Ostsee Canal (NOK) and is responsible for the safety and ease of navigation. The requirements arose from this task will be introduced into the project, among other things, in the context of workshops. In addition, the business processes at the floodgates of the WSV can be collected by the project. The WSV introduces the aspects “user needs (lock), usability, feasibility” into the project.

Short-down letter LocksNOK40

Joint Coordinatordbh Logistics IT AG, Bremen

FKZ: 19F2119A


Project volume2,109,762 euros

(of which 73% is support from BMVI)

Project04/2020 – 03/2023
PartnersFraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research Registered Association, Munich


FKZ: 19F2119B

TTS Trimode Transport Solutions GmbH, Breisgau


FKZ: 19F2119C

ContactVDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH

Dr Wolfgang Domröse

Tel: 030 310 078 – 167



Up-to-date information on the project

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