Port of Rotterdam Part 1: Digital Port Vision

digital rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam has exclusively told PTI its continuing efforts to become more efficient and eco-friendly, emphasizing its history of pioneering new technologies and smarter operations as the driver of its progress.

Joyce Bliek, Director of Digital Business Solutions, has discussed Rotterdam’s transformation into one of world’s leading digital ports in an exclusive interview with Port Technology.

Explaining the forward-thinking outlook of the port, Bliek asserts the importance of “not taking for granted what is, but always looking beyond what can be”, an ethos which is reflected by Rotterdam’s recent moves to promote and pursue innovation.

Vincent Campfens, Port of Rotterdam, discusses digital ports in a recent Port Technology technical paper

In January 2019, the port unveiled a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform in collaboration with its partners IBM, Cisco, Esri and Axians, a solution which is expected to facilitate further developments in autonomous shipping, artificial intelligence and real-time analytics.

The completion of a hydro/meteo application, powered by IoT, is expected to support the safe handling of incoming ships, as well as decreasing waiting and loading times.

The Port of Rotterdam is also conscious, as Bliek notes, of the need to remain competitive, both in terms of maintaining high cargo volumes and leading the way for other ports to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Joyce Bliek was a key speaker at the Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies Conference 2018: read Port Technology’s review of the event

It is for this reason that digitalization is so crucial, prompting Rotterdam to invest in port call optimization tools such as Pronto.

Sjoerd de Jager, Business Lead for Pronto at the Port of Rotterdam, has explained that by optimizing port calls to enable just-in-time sailing, achieved by software which calculates the correct arrival time of a vessel, massive savings can be made in terms of operational costs and emissions.

The port wishes to foster an environment that is not only “economically friendly” but also “living friendly”, which requires a duality within the port authority to seek improvement from both an economic and sustainable perspective.

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