Port of Rotterdam’s AI Vessel Platform


The Port of Rotterdam has revealed the scale of its investment in artificial intelligence (AI), and precisely how the technology can benefit port operations.

According to a statement, the Port Authority is looking to utilize what it describes as the “sea of data” to monitor port operations, including to predict vessel arrivals.

To do this, it is using Pronto, an application for standardized data exchange on port calls. It says that almost half of all shipping companies, agents, terminals and other nautical service providers in the port use Pronto to plan and monitor their operations and implement changes.

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Pronto receives data from the Port Authority database and AIS, including vessel times at the loading platform. Data scientists then use the parameters to develop a self-learning computer model.

AI has, according to the Port Authority, already seen vessel waiting time cut by 20%. Speaking about the power of AI to improve terminal operations, Arjen Leege, Senior Data Scientist, Port of Rotterdam Authority, said this: “Various factors influence a vessel’s arrival time.

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“This includes the vessel type and cargo type, as well as the location, route, sailing speed and movements of other vessels in the vicinity.

“We have mapped out the most crucial parameters. During this process, we sometimes dropped parameters or added new ones. For instance, it emerged that the number of times a vessel has already entered the Port of Rotterdam is also relevant.

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“Computers can make complex connections must faster than people. That is actually the power of artificial intelligence.

“A computer’s predictive capacity increases when it is fed continuously with up-to-date data. We can now predict with 20-minute precision when arriving vessels will reach the berth.

“The computer can also look further into the future and calculate the arrival times of vessels that are still some seven days away from the Port of Rotterdam.

“By looking further ahead, we will ultimately be able to predict a vessel’s entire route. Perhaps even some 30 days in advance, including multiple ports”.

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