Ports praise Smart Ports: Piers of the Future 2020 success


The second edition ‘Smart Ports: Piers of the Future’ reinvented itself and exceeds all expectations via the Smart Ports TV platform, the Port of Barcelona has stated.

Smart Ports: Piers of the Future brought together seven of the world’s most innovative ports to share initiatives in innovation, digitalisation and sustainability.

On the 17 and 18 of November 12 projects were presented and 7 sessions were held to discuss the importance of port-city relations, digital transformation and the use of new technologies to discern the future horizon of the port and maritime sector.

This second edition, held under the slogan “Thinking ahead, globally”, has had almost 6,000 unique users, from the five continents, on the platform.

Also, for the first time, Port Technology International (PTI) collaborated, as a partner, in the organisation of the event. In addition, PTI’s Stephanie Morley, Director of Events, and Beth Maundrill, Editor-in-Chief, moderated a number of the panel sessions during the live TV event.

The representatives of the various ports expressed their feelings regarding this second edition in a recent statement shared by the Port of Barcelona.

Mercè Conesa, President, Port of Barcelona, said: “Despite the complications caused by Covid-19, we are very proud to have been able to hold the second edition of Smart Ports: Piers of the Future in a virtual format, which was a challenge. The event has been a great success, and the Port of Barcelona continues to wish to carry this forward. The uncertainty that we are experiencing during 2020 reaffirms the importance of moving towards a Smart model, which offers innovative solutions to future challenges and helps to achieve the objectives set for an adequate development of ports.”

Jens Meier, CEO of the Port Authority of Hamburg (HPA) added: “Like last year, ‘Smart Ports: Piers of the Future’ gives us the opportunity to show to the world the advances that ports are making and how we contribute to a better development of cities. Digitalisation helps ports move forward and be more efficient in many ways and being able to share ‘expertise’ with other ports is crucial for reaching a global transformation.”

Daniel Olivier, Director of Business Intelligence and Innovation at the Port of Montreal noted: “Collaboration with other ports is key to share knowledge in a timely manner, especially in times of crisis. As such, chainPORT has been a highly valuable channel of information sharing during the pandemic to share best practices in crisis response.

“The Port of Montreal is highly committed to digital transformation, which will only accelerate with the current crisis. Ports have been able to leverage their digital maturity to implement creative smart solutions in their fight against the coronavirus. A port like Montreal, for instance, turned to artificial intelligence to serve a humanitarian cause and expedite critical medical cargo to market through its CargO2ai project. “

Allard Castelein, CEO, Port of Rotterdam said: “A port’s success isn’t measured by the volume of cargo that is put through the port area, but by the impact that is created. The port of the future is the port that is best able to adapt to our changed world: a port that is digital and climate-neutral. In the port of the future, activities will be more transparent, predictable and efficient than ever. Our role as Port Authority’s is therefore gradually shifting from traditional port manager to port entrepreneur, partner, incubator and supplier of digital products and data services.”

Luc Arnouts, Vice President International Relations and Networks, Port of Antwerp, said: ‘It has been a pleasure to join all the ports participating in Smart Ports: Piers of the Future and to be able to share our projects with the port community once again. Port of Antwerp is very committed to digital transformation and despite the challenges caused by the global pandemic, I am optimistic that it will be an accelerator of the shift towards a smarter port. In today’s world, our mission is to act as a lever for stakeholders that detect innovative opportunities and solutions. Therefore, we strive to be an open and innovative platform that allows the introduction of new technologies.’

Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles, said: “It is extraordinary to see how the port community comes together to provide innovative answers to the challenges we face making ports more efficient and sustainable.  I thank the Port of Barcelona for again organizing Smart Ports and providing the opportunity to share my thoughts on the need to continue the push toward a digital transformation of the maritime industry.”

Ho-Chul Park, Vice President, Port of Busan: “We are very happy to join the Smart Ports: Piers of the Future congress for the first time. We see how new technologies evolve very quickly and it is important to analyze what are the trends of the future in order to adapt to them, and keep been a leading port worldwide. The Port of Busan is accelerating the digitization process and developing strategies to improve sustainability, which is also a crucial aspect for the development of cities.”

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