SmartPortsBCN 2021: Barcelona eager to become a pacemaker for blue economy

The blue economy is set to be a key focus for the Port of Barcelona during the upcoming Smart Port: Piers of the Future event 2021 as both the city and the port look to become pacemakers for the ocean economy.

The blue economy, or ocean economy, alludes to the sustainable economic use of ocean resources.

“Data and forecasts clearly reveal the importance of the blue economy: considering the current economic value of ocean assets, blue economy-related industries constitute the world’s seventh largest economy and, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the blue economy will reach $3 billion by 2030,” said Emma Cobos, Director of Innovation and Business Strategy and the Port of Barcelona, in a recent interview with PTI.

SMART PORTS: Piers of the Future 2021 takes place on 16 to 17 November. Register here now!

OECD released a report in 2016 where it spoke about the ocean economy being “essential to the future of welfare and prosperity of humankind”. However, it also highlighted the risks that come with ocean economic activity, a key one being the health of the ocean in the face of over-exploitation.

“Eager to position themselves as pacemakers for the blue economy in Europe and around the world, the Port of Barcelona and city of Barcelona will be at Smart Ports: Piers of the Future as part of a panel session on how the blue economy impacts the port system and society at large, and how the maritime industry works hand in hand with the public administration on the future of city ports,” she explained.

As many ports, and wider maritime industry, are working towards the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) when speaking of the blue economy, SDG 14 comes into play.

SDG 14 commits to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and resources for sustainable development. The SDG is made up of a number of targets including reducing pollution of all kinds, addressing the impacts of ocean acidification and regulating overfishing and unregulated fishing.

During the Smart Port: Piers of the future session the audience will hear from a number of experts on the topic of the blue economy including Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries at the European Commission; Rafael Sardà , Socio-ecologist, Senior Scientist of the National Council of Research of Spain, Paul Holthus, CEO, World Ocean Council; and Dr Alberto Cappato, Member of the Board and General Secretary, AVIP – The Worldwide Network of Port Cities.

SmartPortsBCN 2021: SMART concept key focus for Barcelona strategy

Following the success of the 2020 event, the Port of Barcelona is once again bringing the industry its Smart Ports: Piers of the Future event in 2021.

Ahead of the November conference, PTI spoke to Emma Cobos, Director of Innovation and Business Strategy and the Port of Barcelona, about what to expect from this year’s event.

“The third edition of Smart Ports: Piers of the Future will once again be 100% online, and now that it has established itself as a touchstone event for innovation in the maritime port sector, we will be discussing the five attributes –sustainability, multimodality, agility, resilience and transparency– that we believe must characterise an advanced and competitive logistics hub,” she said.

SMART PORTS: Piers of the Future 2021 takes place on 16 to 17 November. Register here now!

“Accordingly, discussion will focus on topics such as the energy transition in ports and the maritime industry; the blue economy; e-mobility and its vast development potential in port cities, and digitalisation in all areas of transport and logistics with the aim of spotlighting the environmental, social and economic potential that ports and their associated activity represent today.”

The Smart Ports: Piers of the Future 2021 event will revolve around the SMART (Sustainability, Multimodality, Agility, Resilience and Transparency) concept, as well as the vision which was laid out in the lines of action in the Port of Barcelona’s Fourth Strategic Plan 2021-2025.

“The red-letter topics of this edition will be the energy transition, e-mobility and digitalisation of logistics, among others, and they will share space with the blue economy and exploration of innovative, revolutionary projects like Hyperloop,” Cobos said.

The Fourth Strategic Plan was laid out earlier in 2021 and will provide the backbone of the Port of Barcelona’s messaging throughout the event.

“The document laid out future actions, such as Smart Ports, which aim to advance the Port’s role as a benchmark and cement its place as an innovation hub where the port and the city are developed sustainably, positioning the former and latter alike as global leaders,” Cobos explained.

“At this year’s event, the Port of Barcelona will highlight its leadership in the growing blue economy, efficient use of 5G connections in maritime traffic and how the energy transition makes us an emissions-neutral port in the near future.”

Ports and Cities

It is no coincidence that the event is closely aligned with the Smart Cities Expo, also hosted in Barcelona, as collaboration between cities and ports is more important than ever before and Barcelona is uniquely placed to provide insight on the port-city partnership.

“Their seaside locations and proximity to urban centres make port-cities areas of high strategic interest,” Cobos explained. “International benchmark cities are retooling underused areas and giving them new life as hubs and centres of technological and business innovation.”

“Port infrastructures provide cities with a commercial and economic edge: besides fulfilling their function as logistics hubs, they become magnets for talent and technological coil-springs, positively impacting cities, creating new synergies and securing competitive advantages for cities and ports, with a net outcome of improved integration between port and city and greater added value.”

With that in mind, the Port of Barcelona Fourth Strategic Plan includes a roadmap of future actions and a list of 35 projects to be developed in the Port Vell – the oldest part of the Port of Barcelona and a space which has managed in recent years to reinvent itself as an iconic and one-of-a-kind attraction for the city, people and businesses.

“The scene of highly concentrated and intense commercial, maritime and port activity, the Port Vell acts as a magnet for investment and talent,” Cobos noted.

“In this historical and unique space, initiatives related to the new economy based in knowledge and technology are gathering steam. Take, for example, Pier01 innovation hub – a one-of-a-kind area of 70 hectares that constitutes the most people-friendly corner of the Port of Barcelona.”

GreenTech 2021: Optimisation key to delivering sustainability at ports

IT and software upgrades must be considered alongside infrastructure projects, like replacing diesel equipment or implementing onshore power, in the battle to reduce CO2 emissions.

INFORM believes that it is now time to rethink the paradigm of infrastructure and IT as being separate projects.

INFORM spoke to PTI ahead of the GreenTech for Ports & Terminals event about how optimisation is key to achieving port’s sustainability goals.

 “Most terminals or ports are focused on infrastructure projects, such as replacing diesel equipment or implementing onshore power. These are both great examples of projects with strong sustainability outcomes. However, these traditional investments in concrete and steel are relatively slow projects to realise, especially when compared to investments in IT and software,” Alex Van Winckel, Senior Consultant, INFORM, told PTI.

“The reality is optimisation solutions can deliver immediate benefits in a comparatively short timeframe. Our deployment schedules are measured in months, with no costly retraining of staff typically required. They are also very easy to implement within an organisation’s culture. The result is a quick win as terminals and ports work towards their sustainability goals. Furthermore, the benefits actually enrich the types of infrastructure projects that they are already targeting,” he said.

Alex Van Winckel will be speaking at Port Technology’s GreenTech for Ports & Terminals on 22 and 23 September 2021. Register now!

He noted, “For example, if a terminal operator is looking to replace diesel-powered equipment with electric, there are two sustainability problems to still consider. First and foremost, just because the equipment isn’t burning diesel fuel in the terminal doesn’t mean that the overall CO2 reductions are realised.

“Most electricity around the globe still comes from burning fossil fuels. The problem has simply been shifted upstream while also creating a second issue of electrical grid sustainability.

“Building on the first is optimisation effort number two. Replacing a diesel fleet with an electric fleet isn’t likely to reduce the total CO2 emissions. In this example, our Vehicle Optimizer is proven to allow operators to reduce their fleet sizes by as much as 40% on a sustained level. Not only does this reduce a significant amount of CO2 production (both onsite and upstream), but it also significantly reduces the quantity of equipment needed and the invoice for said equipment. The ROI potential here is massive.”

Embracing sustainability

INFORM as a company has strongly embraced the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“This starts in how we operate as a company and carries through to the products and solutions we provide in the market,” Van Winckel said.

Independent assessment platform EcoVadis recently presented INFORM with the Silver Medal award, confirming the company’s growing sustainability initiatives.

“When it comes to our product, we’ve known for some time that our solutions help our maritime and intermodal terminal operators reduce their CO2 footprints,” Van Winckel explained.

“Over the past two years, we’ve been actively working to understand how. At the beginning of 2021, we published a paper with Port Technology titled ‘Sustainability in Maritime’, where we looked at the impacts of our optimisation software.”

“The results were pretty telling. For instance, by leveraging our Vehicle Optimizer or Yard Optimizer, terminal operators can reduce a terminal’s CO2 footprint by as much as 16,200 tons and 1,580 tons, respectively. Of course, these numbers will vary from terminal to terminal, depending on their specific operating characteristics.

“Are these the largest numbers? Perhaps not, but these are benefits in addition to the cost reductions that drive strong ROI when using optimisation solutions from INFORM. Our Vehicle Optimizer can save operators as much as €5.2 million ($6.15 million), and our Yard Optimizer can reduce operational costs by as much as €7.5 million ($8.87 million). The financial and green benefits of optimisation combined are clear and powerful incentives to improve one’s operations,” he said.

Applying technology

It is clear that solutions like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation can provide a clear route towards green, sustainability goals.

However, Van Winckel said what is often overlooked when discussing sustainability is emerging technologies’ impact on people.

“Our solutions are proven to assist in implementing automation projects more successfully, and these projects, when done well, reduce dispatcher and equipment-handler stress levels. Crane operators working with our Crane Optimization solution routinely report significantly decreased stress levels when working with the optimisation’s next-best-move recommendations, as an example. Data also shows that the Crane Optimizer will reduce CO2 by as much as 1,570 tons for RTG operations.”

Looking ahead

INFORM has already worked with a number of leading brands in the supply chain in order to optimise their business processes for over two decades.

“This includes HHLA. We first delivered our optimisation capabilities into the maritime industry and have been refining and enhancing them for the past two decades,” Van Winckel said.

“In the long-term, we are also increasingly active in monitoring the industry for ways in which we can positively impact it,” he added.

INFORM is set to continue to invest in initiatives and product solutions: from its promoting diversity through their Millennials in Maritime and Women in Maritime drives; to developing and launching new product solutions such as its TLO aerodynamic train load planning algorithm; or the company’s Machine Learning module that moves the industry forward.

Visy Oy joins the Container Owners Association

Finnish company Visy Oy has joined the Container Owners Association (COA), the company announced in a recent newsletter.

Joining the COA as a technology provider enables us to obtain a deeper understanding of the industry’s requirements and ensure that our solutions are evolving in the right way, the company said.

“For example, in June, we launched the world’s first automatic damage detection system (Visy ADDS) to identify container damage before it becomes a problem in the supply chain,” said Visy.

“Damaged containers cost the industry billions of dollars per year in insurance claims, lost efficiency, health/safety issues, and destroyed goods. By working with the COA and its other members, we will ensure that our ADDS roadmap matches the needs of the industry,” the company added.  

Terminal Petikemas Surabaya (TPS) Indonesia has become the first terminal to host the ADDS.

The solution uses modern Artificial Intelligence and vision technology to clear liabilities for damaged containers, enhance automation in container terminals, help protect cargo, and decrease truck turnaround times.

GreenTech 2021: Appetite for sustainability investments remains despite pandemic

To help ports prepare for future sustainability investments, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) in 2018.

PTI spoke to Antonis Michail, Technical Director of IAPH, about the achievements of the WPSP to date, trends that are affecting ports’ sustainability efforts today, and what’s next for the IAPH and WPSP.

The appetite to invest sustainably by ports has not been seriously impacted by the pandemic, Michail said.

The point has been proven by the fact that in 2021 IAPH received 64 projects submitted by 37 member ports from 21 countries as entries for the 2021 World Ports Sustainability Awards.

Since the inception of the WPSP, over 200 projects have been registered from IAPH port members from all over the world in the fields of resilient infrastructure, energy transition, safety and security, community outreach and governance.

The IAPH-WPSP COVID19 Port Economic Impact Barometer report did a survey around investments by ports in sustainability in week 41 of 2020.

The survey focused on trends observed in planned investments in environmental sustainability and the extent that these investments have been revisited, advanced earlier or later than had been initially scheduled, and even cancelled and/or replaced by new ones that have emerged as essential with newly developed conditions.

Antonis Michail will be speaking at Port Technology’s GreenTech for Ports & Terminals on 22 and 23 September 2021. Register now!

“The survey revealed a positive picture as regards the commitment of ports to advance the plans that they had made before March 2020: 45% of the surveyed ports reported that there had been no delays and planned investments in environmental sustainability projects are executed as had been foreseen,” Michail explained.

“A further 32% reported that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in such investment has occurred but, at least for the moment, they are only minor.”

In addition, only a few ports (2%) have decided to shelve or cancel existing investment plans.

Some ports (4%) have already decided to accelerate and execute such investments faster than initially scheduled, while others (2%) that have decided to proceed with additional investments to original plans.

“Evidently, the industry is standing devoted to advancing its sustainability even in conditions of crisis,” Michail pointed out.

Fuels remain under debate

Changing vessel fuel from the traditional carbon emission-emitting diesels to a more climate friendly alternative remains a topic of debate. This has an impact on ports as they must invest in the relevant infrastructure.  

“We have already seen owners invest in new tonnage powered by LNG and newbuilding programmes that plan dual-fuel vessels using new low and zero carbon fuels such as ammonia and methanol,” Michail highlighted.

Notably, CMA CGM has invested in an LNG powered fleet, and Israeli shipping line ZIM recently announced the charter of five 7,000 TEU LNG-powered vessels.

“Placing infrastructure to meet the needs of those future vessels is a major undertaking on land as ports need to ensure that all the necessary permissions, standards, processes and expertise are in place for the safe and efficient supply of these new alternative fuels,” Michail outlined.

“And then there is the costly construction of the infrastructure itself which will require stakeholder involvement, land-use permits as well as important regulatory and HSEQ considerations. Typically, there is anything between a five- and ten-year gap between shipbuilding innovation and the first availability of fuel infrastructure to support that new fuel innovation, as was the case with LNG,” he added.

Beyond LNG, there is the possibility that zero carbon fuels like green hydrogen and green methanol will also power the ships of the future within 50 years.

However, how fast that transformation will take place is dependent on international regulation and the willingness of ship owners and shipyards, and preparedness of service providers and innovators alike to invest in fuel cell technology and infrastructure in ports, according to Michail.

Automation and data

Automation and standardised real-time data are continuing to play their part in port call optimisation, which many recognise as a route to reducing emissions.

“We may soon reach a point where automation and standardised real time data handling between port players converge with the application of artificial intelligence and predictive forecasting using big data collated from devices throughout the port, i.e., the ‘internet of things’, Michail said.

“This could achieve sustainable efficiency in areas such as port call optimisation and trade facilitation.”

Again, there are dependencies on the speed of development: including the readiness of the ports, enterprises, relevant authorities and logistics players to adopt new technology such as 5G; share sensitive data; and the willingness of port authorities and their governing bodies to encourage or even impose this openness.

Michail referenced the digital divide which is emerging between the highly developed ports which are usually large global gateway hubs – and ports in developing countries which are just commencing their journey to digitalise across the maritime transport chain.


In terms of sustainability priorities, Michail said that ports have traditionally put a lot of focus on community outreach and port-city dialogue with projects that have a direct and visibly positive impact on the port community.

“What also has been interesting has been the recent focus by ports on investment in digital resilience following the pandemic outbreak to reduce human face-to-face interactions, especially between crew and port workers,” he said.

“We have also seen major investments emerging in physical infrastructure as a reaction to dealing with or trying to prevent disruptive events such as extreme weather, overtopping, changing seasonal weather patterns and community protests against alleged interference in local ecosystems, waste dispersal and/or vessel-related incidents near the berth such as groundings and collisions.”

Looking ahead

“It is early days to speak about concrete changes, however what we are realising is that ports are increasingly putting significant resources into physical and digital infrastructure in order to improve their resilience to the impact of the next crisis,” Michail said.

“This is irrespective of whether it be physical such as extreme weather, a terrorist attack or a vessel incident, or digital such as a cyberattack on information or operational systems,” he added.

BoxBay mulls next steps following pilot success

boxbay high bay storage system

Following successful completion of the testing phase of the BoxBay high bay storage (HBS) concept with more than 70,000 container moves, PTI spoke with one of the directors of the project about lessons learned and next steps for the team.

“Across the whole industry, the reactions have been very positive. Experts from all sectors agree that we have to address the space limitations for container terminals. It has been clear for a long time that the solution is not always to occupy new space or build new terminals,” according to Martin Aufschläger, Member of the Board of Directors, BoxBay FZCO.

He argued that the success of the BoxBay system thus far can be attributed to the fact that a terminal operator, DP World, and a supplier of heavy-duty high-bay warehouses, SMS Group, worked hand-in-hand from day one.

“The result of this unique partnership is our proof of concept in Dubai, which has been in operation since January 2021 and already met – if not exceeded – the highest targets,” he claimed.  

The next major milestones will be the placement of solar panels on the HBS roof and implementation of technical and process improvements based on the first few months of operation, Aufschläger said.

He added that the team is now looking ahead to Expo 2020, which will be a “huge milestone” for BoxBay, as the team will showcase the system not only to port logistics insiders but also to the world’s decision makers from all other sectors.

“While the BoxBay site in the Port of Jebel Ali is not officially part of the Expo, we want to show the innovative novelty to as many potential customers and port experts as possible.

“In addition, our team is constantly gaining data from the warehouse system and working on technical improvements in all areas,” he said.

Compared to other ports utilising a similar stacking system, Aufschläger said, “While it is generally more expensive to grow vertically, there are many cases around the world where our concept is superior to all alternatives – not only in terms of capacity, but also in efficiency and sustainability.”  

Lessons learned

Aufschläger said that because of the decades of experience that the SMS group specialists have with high bay storage racks, everything went pretty much as planned.

“Nonetheless, there were of course many learnings on a detailed level. For example, originally, we had installed too many sensors to control the feedback of the automatic processes. Also, important lessons were learned during assembly and installation,” he said.

“It is quite different to assemble such a system in an industrial environment than in a container terminal! Having said that, all civil engineering tasks have been completed without any issues and also the commissioning of the individual systems went very well.

“Storage and retrieval machines and the pallet circulation system worked well together from the beginning, and all automation software tests were successful. Seeing the new system set up within just one year was really impressive – and all this without a single accident – not even a cut finger!”

On challenges faced during the establishment of the high bay storage system technology, Aufschläger said while it may “sound odd” to date, there have been “no significant challenges with the establishment of the technology and company”.

Mega ships and congestion

As with others in the supply chain, Aufschläger acknowledged that the current record congestion on containers and the increase in trade volumes is choking up shipping terminals and ports globally.

“This is of course a challenge for supply chains and the smooth movement of goods around the world. The scale of difficulty increases by having to serve ultra large container ships that require special support and the ability to deal with peak demands. Waterside productivity requires maximum efficiency for the handling of more than 200 containers per hour.”

BoxBay is ultra large container vessel-ready, and according to Aufschläger responds to these demands with a higher turnover on the same yard space and a 20% higher quay performance as the yard is no longer a constraint.

“In operations numbers this means that while most of the port storage systems based on RTG technology have an annual capacity of approximately 45,000 TEU per hectare, BoxBay reaches 160,000 TEU annually on the same footprint.

“BoxBay also takes away the complexity of conventional yard strategy, planning and truck dispatch.”

BoxBay can handle 20-foot, 40-foot and 45-foot containers, and thanks to the design of the underfloor pallet circulation system, interfaces for trucks, rail or ships can be arranged at all four sides of the storage system.

Additionally, all individual material flows are decoupled from each other, creating an unmatched degree of flexibility. As all stacker cranes in the various aisles can be in operation at the same time without interfering with one another, extremely high throughputs of containers can be achieved.

Navis eyes strategic growth under new ownership

Technology provider Navis is set to eye more strategic growth and accelerate in port and terminals industry shift to Software as a Service (SaaS)-based technology solutions following its acquisition by Accel-KRR.

In a recent interview, PTI spoke to Navis CEO, Benoit de la Tour to learn more about what the future holds for the company and its customers around the globe.

“As a leading technology investor and investor in supply chain businesses, Accel-KKR has extensive experience with cloud and subscription-based models, understands what is required to accelerate growth, and can be a strategic partner for Navis’ business transformation within the cloud and beyond,” de la Tour said.

“With the acquisition complete, Navis and Accel-KKR are jointly focused on expanding Navis’ existing software portfolio, particularly in the areas of operational system optimisation, visibility and control, cloud technology and sustainability.”

De la Tour also confirmed that part of Accel-KKR’s aim will be to support strategic mergers and acquisition activity and provide the financial backing needed for Navis to pursue technology investments that – together with Navis’ existing software portfolio – bring even greater efficiency, control and predictability to ocean and landside logistics.

However, de la Tour noted that while Navis has near term aspirations,  it will continue to operate business as usual.

Growth and investment

With the acquisition complete there de la Tour said the company is expected to grow in a number of ways.

“From a solutions-perspective, as mentioned, we will focus on innovating our existing technology solutions, as well as the addition of new value-add solutions and services to our portfolio over time,” he said.

“By introducing more powerful business intelligence and analytics capabilities, predictive visibility to see ahead of planned operations, new mobile applications improving vessel operations, reefer monitoring, and improved data services, we fully expect to continue growing our user footprint well beyond container terminals to support other critical entities involved in the movement of cargo through the supply chain globally.”

Navis has already been working on cloud-based technology and in late 2020 launched the N4 Terminal Operating System (TOS) as a cloud-based solution. Since then, more than 50 customers now used Navis applications via the Navis cloud.

Under the new ownership de la Tour said, “there will certainly be an acceleration of the move to cloud technology”. This includes with existing solutions like N4 SaaS and Octopi, as well as new innovations that are being developed over time.

The company will continue to introduce new capabilities alongside moving more of its solutions to the cloud.

Port Charlottetown receives new ShibataFenderTeam buoys and fenders

The expansion project at Port Charlottetown, Canada, saw the implementation of new mooring buoys to allow additional berthing space for larger vessels.

The expansion project was launched in 2018 to extend the existing cruise berth by 270m, allowing two 330m vessels to berth at the same time.

The project, with a total value of $12 million, included the construction of four breasting dolphins and one additional cruise berth as well as the construction an access gangway, connecting the western dolphins to allow passengers easy access to port facilities.

Additional berthing space for larger vessels was created by the installation of mooring buoys. The project was completed in the third quarter of 2020 and will enhance existing and new port activities such as cruises, aggregates and petroleum imports.

The general contractor for this project was McNally Construction Inc. who entrusted our Canadian representative Davtec Marine Inc. and the US SFT office with the supply of Buoys and Foam Fenders.

Specifically, ShibataFenderTeam supplied four sets of mooring buoys with a size of 12.3 ft x 7.1 ft (3,750mm x 2,160 mm), each complete with Double Quick Release Hook and Navigational Aids, and four sets of Ocean Guard Fenders measuring 10 ft x 16 ft (3,050 mm x 4,880 mm).

ShibataFenderTeam also delivered 10 pieces of T Head Bollards with a capacity of 100 tons and five steel ladder sets, each complete with two DD Fenders for side protection.

All items were ordered in 2018 and then installed in 2019.

“We congratulate the Charlottetown Port Authority on this successful infrastructure project and are grateful to be a part of this development. ShibataFenderTeam wishes all cruise lines a successful operation at the Port of Charlottetown,” the company said.

SANY cranes operate at CSP Wuhan Intermodal Terminal

Dubbed the Grand East Gate of Wuhan, Yangluo Port welcomed the first automated water-rail intermodal terminal along the Yangtze River with the inclusions of three SANY Ship-to-Shore cranes and five SANY Rail Mounted Gantry cranes (RMG).

The new COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP) Wuhan Yangluo Intermodal Container Transport Project commenced operations at 9.30 on 1 August.

As part of the first batch of a total of five STSs plus thirteen RMGs the STS 413502 has a lifting capacity of 41t with an outreach of 35m, it has also achieved zero breakdown record from the initial 1,000 containers operation.

As for the RMGs operating at the nearby railway terminal, the SRMG 414003 has a 41t capacity and a 40m span, while the SRMG 413701 comes with the same capacity on a span of 37m, said SANY.

According to the authority, the project that launched exactly one year ago will be completed and put into use in 2022. It is expected to reach an annual throughput of 1 million TEUs with 500,000 TEUs via its water-rail logistics service, making it the largest such hub on the Yangtze River.

Founded in 2011, SANY Marine Heavy Industry is a major part of SANY Heavy Equipment International Holdings Co., Ltd with manufacturing bases in Zhuhai and Changsha. Its Zhuhai facility is designed as a modern logistics and marine equipment industrial park with a 3.5 km coastline.

Visibility tools key to advancing supply chain

The need for complete visibility throughout the supply chain is an ongoing topic of discussion and efforts are being made by many players in the industry to achieve this.

As it continues to record high TEU throughput, the Port of Los Angeles is looking towards a new predictive tool to boost visibility at the port.

The tool, named Horizon, has been launched as part of the port’s Port Optimizer Control Tower data system.

The new module offers cargo owners, terminal operators, truckers and other supply chain stakeholders the capability to gauge movement of containers — imports, exports and empties — at the port up to six months in advance.

This six-month forecast is a huge improvement for all stakeholders as it is not unusual to have limited visibility of container movements.

No alternative text description for this image


Following its launch in China, the ongoing efforts of TradeLens has seen the first inland port operator join the blockchain-powered digital container logistics platform.

The Al-Hamd International Container Terminal (AICT) in Pakistan said that joining the TradeLens platform is a “step in the right direction for us in moving closer to our vision of leading the digital change in Pakistan’s logistics ecosystem”.

AICT also said that TradeLens has the potential to be an integral part of the Pakistan Single Window project which aims to reduce the time and cost of doing business in Pakistan. It also sets to make trade related processes efficient and transparent.

Pakistan has committed to launch its single window in 2022.

TradeLens provides transit visibility across permissioned stakeholders through the journey of the cargo from origin to destination as well as safe and secure digital documentation.


Digital tools and the removal of paper-based transactions are key to enabling supply chain visibility.

The Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) launched the first application of its Cargo Release system in China, following the consortium’s incorporation earlier in 2021.

The consortium said the Cargo Release offers a paperless, highly efficient and transparent solution connecting everyone involved at port of import.

This will help to eliminate the need for paper cargo receipts, increasing the efficiency of trade finance authentication checks and lowering customers’ management costs.

GSBN said that the deployment of Cargo Release in China is of “major significance” because of the nation’s status as one of the most important markets for imports and exports in the world.