Smart Ports of the Future: A Digital Tomorrow

Smart Ports

Smart ports of the future: Ports, terminals and the vessels that carry the world’s goods are critical to the global economy, as is the wave of smart technologies that allow them to answer ever-growing consumer and trade demands.

To meet current and future challenges, a handful of the world’s biggest hubs have invested heavily in smart and exponential technologies to transform themselves into ‘Smart Ports’.

It is a trend of technological innovation that has the potential to redefine cross-border trade and accelerate the seamless movement of products and, potentially, create a truly global collaborative environment.

Port Technology International’s Smart Digital Ports of the Future conference (#SDP19) will bring together the industry’s greatest minds to discuss and debate how to make Smart Ports a reality.

SDP19 will begin with a keynote speech from Allard Castelein, CEO, Port of Rotterdam. Castelein will talk about Rotterdam’s transformation into ‘the smartest port in the world’ and its plans for the future.

Following that, the C-Level Panel: Smart Digital Ports of the Future, will examine key success stories and, in doing so, look at what the future may hold for Smart Ports.

It will include Marco Neelsen, CEO, Port of Tanjung Pelepas, the fastest growing and most technologically advanced port in Asia, Kenneth Lim, CTO, MPA, Mar Chao Lopez, CCO, Port of Valencia, and Carles Rua, CIO, Port of Barcelona.

What is a Smart Port and why are they important?

In short, a ‘Smart Port’ is a port that utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and big data to make itself more efficient and capable of handling greater volumes of goods.

The technologies that support them are digital, multi-stakeholder systems that support basic infrastructures, such as handling cargo, managing traffic, dealing with customs, maintaining health and safety standards and monitoring waste and energy use.

The smart port phenomenon is driven by three core challenges:

•             Operational excellence

•             Challenging external market

•             New business opportunities

These challenges originate from traditional means of measuring success, such as throughput and, critically, size.

One only need to look at the growth of ports in the Far East to realize the seismic shift the maritime industry has gone through in the 21st century.

China, for example, is home to six out of the ten busiest ports in the world, with Singapore and Busan also present in the list. The regional boom has been so great that even Hong Kong, once the gateway to China, has declined severely in relevance. Read more here


By Max Schwerdtfeger


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