May 20, 2019 | Written by: Miro Holecy
Categorized: Customs & Border Management
Future ports are digital
Imagine an autonomous port where the technology is guiding container ships to designated berthing position.
Where all operation is automated and optimized using data from high amount of sensors installed across of terminals, water and road network surrounding ports. This is a vision adopted by leading ports like Port of Rotterdam and it is underpinned by understanding that ports operation have to change by taking ports on a digital transformation journey.
Digital port – Making it easier to do business
Port’s physical environment is structured and predictable with many repetitive tasks. It is an ideal place to digitalize and automate. The digitalization starts with getting the infrastructure instrumented and connected. This can improve the berthing and towing efficiency, but most importantly improve safety of ports operation. The digitalization does stops here. The port’s operation is intertwined in the network of terminals, shipping companies, ship brokers, freight companies, customs and many more. This network is connected by a logistics value chains which requires the digitalization of processes to gain more automation, efficiency and transparency. A good example is the global trade platform developed by Tradelens supported by blockchain. Finally, the digitalization is impacting the workforce, specifically the skills of ports’ employees which are being constantly introduced to new technologies. This is changing the way the ports employees collaborate and work. Ultimately, all these aspects of ports digitalization make it easier to do the business with ports.
As ports start to seamlessly integrate digital technologies like IoT, blockchain, AI into the day to day operation, it will start to generate a waste amount of data. This data will become a center of gravity in any port’s operation and the insights generated from this data by advance analytics will enable ports to bring safety and productivity gains into the operation. Digital technologies will allow ports continuously ingesting real-time data from sensors and services, constantly learning through interactions with ecosystem partners, connecting ecosystems and facilitating 360 view of customers. Further, the artificial intelligent will also enable port to use us the collective intelligence to adapt to change. And that is a Digital Port.
Port’s operation is not just about technology
The port operation is not just about technology. Most importantly it is about processes, which can deliver improved safety and productivity. The process model for ports is quite complex as it covers variety of processes from security, logistics, terminal operation, entry/exit processes, to vessel traffic management and customs. The digitalization of ports operation starts today with instrumentation and with injecting data insights into existing processes. This will enable transformation of the entire port operation model and eventually realize ports’ automated vision.