The most important components of the logistics concept are fully automated transport vehicles, the new rail-optimized tank containers instead of railway tank wagons as well as a tank container storage.
Together with the VDL Group, BASF has developed a prototype of an autonomous driving vehicle that is 16.5 meters long and can carry 78 tonnes. Today, the delivery of a tank wagon from the BASF station to one of the over 150 loading points at the location takes about 22 hours, with such a vehicle it will only take an hour in the future.
The company has developed the new 45- and 52-foot tank containers together with the Belgian tank container manufacturer van Hool based on the 20- and 30-foot tank containers. These are already used today in combined transport. The so-called B-TC (BASF Class tank container), combined with railway carriages, can be used more flexibly as classic railway wagons. The containers can be transported independently of the rails and can be stored in a space-saving manner (six pieces one above the other).
The logistics concept also includes the fully automatic tank container warehouse, which is currently being built at the Ludwigshafen site. It has a capacity of 2,000 standard containers (20 feet) and has two cranes with a loading capacity of 75 tons each. It is trimodal, which means, the goods are handled by AGV, truck and railway. The tank container warehouse is scheduled to start operation in mid-2018.