About our Center

The Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services CML develops innovative solutions for the maritime sector and the maritime supply chain. We support companies and institutions from shipping, port management and logistics in initiating and implementing future-oriented technologies and processes. 

Starting from everyday challenges, our interdisciplinary teams develop customer-specific solutions for private and public clients. In the four research fields of Maritime Logistics, Ports, Shipping and Autonomous Maritime Systems, our employees transfer the latest scientific findings from the diverse research activities into practice-oriented applications. The focus is on solutions for end-to-end digitalization and process automation, service concepts, and AI-supported data analysis, as well as autonomous maritime systems and sustainable shipping. The innovative concepts are tested and improved at the CML through simulation, models and in real operation.

Fraunhofer CML was founded in 2010 as part of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Hamburg.


Four research groups work at the Fraunhofer CML:

The Group Sea Traffic and Nautical Solutions deals with issues relating to nautical safety and control: Are existing port layouts suitable for future developments? What technologies are required for the autonomous control of a ship? And how can an autonomous ship be monitored from land? The scientists are using three ship handling simulators, among other things, to develop answers to these questions.

In Ship and Information Management, solutions are being developed for tasks in optimization situations and for questions of maritime communication. Modern information management on board and ashore offers considerable potential for efficiency and profitability. The focus is on personnel and procurement processes, which often account for a large proportion of operating costs. For this reason, the CML has developed a solution for optimizing crew deployment on board, for example.

In Ports and Transport Markets, everything revolves around the analysis and forecasting of maritime transport chains and port locations. Strategic location concepts for ports are developed here, as are terminal layouts, which are mapped in parallel in two or three dimensions on a smartboard. Another focus of this group is research into digitalization processes in the port environment and their implementation in small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Port Technologies Group deals with research issues relating to automation and digitalization in the port environment. The focus here is on the safe, economical and low-emission design of processes and structures with regard to the handling of goods in port terminals.