The aim of the trial is to validate whether voyage data and vessel characteristics can be used to provide correct advice on berths. We shall also be assessing whether the skipper appreciates the advice provided. Running until the end of January 2020, the trial will include 500 port calls. If the trial proofs successful, the system could become a permanent feature within RiverGuide and other route planners.
Inland vessels visiting the port of Rotterdam sometimes have to wait a while before they are able to access a terminal and then look for a berth. Another reason why inland vessels need berths is so they can wait for a new cargo. A berth may also be necessary because a skipper is obliged to take a break due to the law covering sailing hours.
Port has 500 public berths
Spread throughout the port of Rotterdam, there are approximately 150 locations with a joint capacity of around 500 vessels. For some years, the Inland Shipping Berths Information System (BLIS) has been providing access to online information on whether or not berths are available. This functionality is also built into RiverGuide, the app for smooth, safe and smarter navigation, developed on behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority in association with eight other waterway authorities.
It has been shown that skippers regularly have to look for a place because their preferred public berths are either taken when they arrive or do not meet their requirements (e.g. the displaying of cones if dangerous substances are on board). It has also been shown that skippers do not always consult BLIS’s berthing function. We have also seen that in some areas of the port, there are rarely any vacant berths, whereas at other locations there is still plenty of available capacity. This causes unnecessary shipping movements and is therefore inefficient. The Port Authority is hoping that this trial will be able to help visiting inland vessels even more, by providing custom advice whenever possible.
For the first time, the ports of Antwerp, Barcelona, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Montreal and Rotterdam come together to showcase their most advanced digital transformation and sustainability projects at their dedicated ‘Smart Ports’ exhibit
The ‘Smart Ports. Piers of the Future’ event brought together six of the world’s largest ports and has turned Barcelona into the world capital of port innovation.
At the Smart City Expo World Congress, held from 19 to 21 November at the Fira de Barcelona events center on Gran Via, the ports of Antwerp, Barcelona, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Montreal and Rotterdam joined forces for the first time to set up their dedicated smart ports exhibit booth in which each port showcased the most advanced projects they are currently working on.
This first ever ‘Smart Ports’ event, that was extremely well attended, was an opportunity for participating ports to share their strategic plans to address present and future sustainable development and digital transformation challenges. This is what the representatives of each port had to say about the success of the event:
Piet Opstaele, Innovation Lead, Manager Innovation, Port of Antwerp: “The whole industry is facing challenges. Collaboration, like this worldwide network, is the key. Continuous investments and innovations are necessary to keep the edge. Therefore, the focus of Port of Antwerp for the future is on digital and energy transition. We ‘walk the talk’ by sustainably investing in the development of hard, digital infrastructure and processes in view of building the port of the future.”
“As community builder we aim to be pioneer smoothening the path for innovation while investing in those areas in which the market has not developed yet. In these turbulent times it is our mission to act as a lever for stakeholders that spot innovative opportunities. Therefore, we strive to be an open innovative platform that allows new technologies to be introduced. Innovation with a purpose,” Opstaele added.
“The ‘Smart Ports’ conference made it clear that the digital transformation is leading to a data rich environment that can benefit every link in the maritime supply chain,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “In collaboration with other forward-thinking ports, we envision leading the way in securely using big data to improve the reliability, predictability and efficiency of seaborne trade. We thank and congratulate Port of Barcelona President Mercè Conesa i Pagès, Deputy General Manager Santiago Mila and the entire conference team for hosting such a well-organized and insightful event.”
“It is important to come together as an industry to demonstrate how ports are contributing positively to maintain a sustainable balance with their respective surrounding cities by leveraging digital solutions”, said Daniel Olivier, Director, Business Intelligence and Innovation at the Port of Montreal. “That’s why the Port of Montreal is acting as a North American leader in smart solutions in harbor trucking among other initiatives.”