Some people are so passionate about logistics that they cannot let go even when they are on vacation. They do not have to be workaholics: after all, logistics can be very exciting – and relaxing when you are a mere observer and do not have to lend a hand yourself. We have compiled a few inspiring destinations for logisticians on their well-deserved time off.
Welcome Diversion with Logistical Highlights
You do not have to be professionally involved in logistics yourself to still be enthusiastic about bustling ports, historic vehicles, or state-of-the-art technology. Our destinations are also well suited for logistics fans and for their entire families – enough fascination and diversion is provided everywhere. In fascinating museums or on varied bike tours, everyone has a blast.
Off to the Museum!
Verkehrszentrum of the Deutsches Museum in Munich
The Deutsches Museum in Munich is one of the largest science and technology museums in the world. Its origins date back to the early 20th century, but the transport section of the Deutsches Museum was established in this millennium and has been delighting visitors in its current form since 2016. Whether stagecoach, steam locomotive, or historic truck – everything that moved people and goods can be marveled at here.
Transport Museum in Dresden
The beginnings of the Dresden Transport Museum go back to the 19th century, the present museum was opened in the middle of the 20th century. Air, water, rail, road: here, all modes of transport come into their own under one roof. A logistical treat is the exhibition on chain boat navigation: boats were towed up and down the river Elbe from Dresden to Hamburg along a chain some 700 km long – a revolution in inland shipping. And if that bores the little guests: in the meantime, they can let off steam on Bobby cars in the “traffic garden”.
German Customs Museum in Hamburg
Only something for lovers of international cross-border traffic? Certainly not. The location of the Customs Museum Hamburg alone is outstanding. Right in the middle of the historic Speicherstadt, where you are very close to one of today’s customs hotspots: the Port of Hamburg. In the past, the Speicherstadt itself was a free port and duty-free zone. Anyone who wanted to enter or leave the Speicherstadt had to undergo a customs check. It was not until 2013 that the customs border was completely abolished. In addition to this unique location, the museum has much else to offer about the past and present of customs.
Explore the Sea and Inland Ports in Hamburg and Duisburg by Bike
Now that you are in Hamburg: a harbor tour by a launch is extremely popular here, and without a doubt this is a unique experience. But Germany’s largest seaport can also be explored on two wheels. In this way, you can discover completely new perspectives beyond the usual tourist attractions. But no worries: there are plenty of bridges and container terminals to gaze at here, too. But every now and then, nature provides a green change, at least on the routes suggested to potential logistics cyclists by the Hamburg Port Authority.
In Duisburg, where the river Ruhr flows into the Rhine, logistics enthusiasts will find nothing less than the largest inland port in the world. So, we are sticking to the superlatives. And this port is also perfect for cycling through on several discovery tours. Container port and Rhine romance are only a few rotations of the wheel apart, so everyone can have his share of fun.
Futureland in Europe’s Largest Seaport of Rotterdam
To get from Duisburg to Rotterdam, you simply could float down the Rhine toward the North Sea – but surely there are more convenient ways to get to Europe’s largest seaport in Rotterdam. Once there, many of the port’s vantage points can be explored on foot or by bicycle along the around 40 kilometers that the port stretches between the city and the sea. The Port of Rotterdam provides some suitable routes.
A good starting point for a tour is the Port Pavilion with lots of information and tips for exploring the harbor. Futureland is also not to be missed. It is located in the most modern part of the port, Maasvlakte 2, where you will find not only state-of-the-art container terminals and the largest deep-sea vessels, but also the latest innovations in energy and offshore. From the panorama deck of Futureland you have a fantastic overview and interactive offers bring the port to life. You can also enjoy bus and ferry tours that begin at Futureland.
Airbus Factory Tours
From water to air – the production of aircraft is a fascinating spectacle that can be experienced first-hand at the French and German Airbus sites in Toulouse, Saint-Nazaire, Hamburg, Bremen, and Stade.
Factory tours at the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer inspire technology fans young and old. Toulouse is home to the Airbus headquarters and the aircraft assembly line, where the A380 and A350 aircraft are put together. The Airbus plant in Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast where cockpits are built, among other things, is also an intriguing place to visit. Tours on foot through final assembly are a particular highlight in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, but wing production in Bremen and the production halls in the northern German city of Stade, the Airbus center of excellence for carbon fiber composites, are also impressive.
Largest European Truck Stop in Ashford
If you are more of a trucker than an aviator, you will see plenty of trucks at Europe’s largest truckstop. The Ashford International Truckstop is located about ten kilometers from the entrance to the Eurotunnel on the English side. The 650 truck parking spaces are flanked by no less impressive additional facilities: gym, restaurant, sports bar, supermarket: everything has been considered here.
Truckracing Championship 2023
And if you prefer to see trucks in motion – and very fast indeed – then the European Truck Racing Championship is just the right thing for you. From May to October, it stops at eight stations in Europe, including LeMans and the Nürburgring. In addition to the tractor-trailers turning their fast laps on the tracks, the supporting program offers top entertainment for the whole family.
Truck Graveyard in Oberhausen, Germany
True treasures from the 50s to 60s can be discovered at the truck graveyard, which is located on an industrial site in Oberhausen in the Ruhr region.
Here, a truck enthusiast presides over a huge fleet of more than 250 decommissioned legends of utility vehicles. Actually, the site belongs to a truck workshop that can rely on an enormous reservoir of rare spare parts. There are no official viewing times for the rarities, but the owners of “Nutzfahrzeuge Hoffmann” will certainly not be chasing truck enthusiasts out of the yard.
Crossing Europe on the E 45 and E 60
They do not convey a Wild West feeling like the legendary Route 66 – and yet it is worth driving and experiencing the European routes 45 and 60. The E 45 is the north-south tangent from the southern coast of Sicily to the Norwegian town of Alta north of the Arctic Circle: more climatic diversity is not imaginable in Europe. Short ferry passages across the Strait of Messina and the Skagerrak are required, but otherwise the 5,000-kilometer drive through all of Italy, a small part of Austria, and the entire length through Germany, Denmark, and Sweden can be done wholly on tires.
At over 6,500 kilometers, the E 60 is even longer, and no wonder: it stretches from the Belgian North Sea port of Brest to the Kyrgyz border with China. In the process, it crosses France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan – from the North Sea dunes through the Alps and the Caucasus to the Tian Shan mountains. Longer ferry passages across the Black and Caspian Seas are welcome breaks on the journey. Numerous exciting and new impressions are guaranteed – but travelling the E 60 as far as to its High Asian end is probably only suited for absolute adventurers.
Travel by Cargo Ship
Finally, a tip for fans of sea freight: it is actually possible to travel by freighter. There are even agencies that specialize in freighter voyages. This is not only interesting for people who are interested in large-scale logistics, but also for the environmentally conscious. Your own trip does not fuel the demand for passenger flights or cruises, and in relation to the cargo weight of the ship, your personal ecological footprint on the trip is practically zero (although, of course, the freighter usually uses environmentally unfriendly heavy fuel oil, but there are no additional emissions).
Nevertheless, the shortcomings outweigh the advantages: comfort and available seats are limited, the journey takes a long time, can be delayed by whole days, and is also expensive. Moreover, not all shipping companies offer capacity for passengers and sometimes there are no seats available anywhere. If you have a fixed date overseas, the cargo ship trip is not a suitable option – with freighter travel, the journey itself really is the reward.
DHL Freight Wishes You a Restful and Inspiring Holiday
We hope that our suggestions have aroused your interest and desire to explore.
However you choose to spend your vacation: we at DHL Freight wish you a relaxing holiday season and look forward to working together again soon – to shape the logistics of tomorrow.