SDP 2021: Taking ownership on digital port collaboration


The port and maritime industry is bursting with varying stakeholders and actors, all with their own interests and investments that they rightly aim to protect and prosper with.

But the industry needs ownership: it needs stakeholders to be bold, to be brave, and to reach out to transform a historically slow-moving sector into one that is agile, smart, and coactive.

This was evinced in Improving Efficiency & Transparency Through Connecting Ports and Operators session from Day 2 of Smart Digital Ports of the Future 2021.

Wärtsilä’s digital ownership journey

Bruce Mills, Manager of Business Development for Ship Traffic Control at Wärtsilä, highlighted the company’s multi-year drive to harness collaboration for the benefit of the whole port industry.

Wärtsilä Smarter Voyage, the firm’s digital technology platform optimised for Just-in-Time (JIT) arrivals, began in 2015 with the purchase of L3 Marine Systems International.. Since that point, Wärtsilä acquired Eniram, Transas, and Guidance Marine to develop a comprehensive fleet of experts for its digital platform for users to benefit from the latest technologies for JIT arrival.

“Our vision to provide technologies that facilitate smart voyages and smart ports,” Mills told the audience. “We can hopefully join the dots [of the maritime journey] including JIT, autonomous, future fuels, situational awareness and collision avoidance.”

Applying the Smarter Voyage platform to vessels using the Port of Singapore, Mills said, the benefits for the whole industry are clear: CO2 emissions would be cut by 1.6 million tons, and €160 million ($136.65 million) in fuel bill savings annually.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s (PANYNJ) Council of Port Performance (CPP)

Built on the four Ps: people, policies, processes, and procedures, the CPP was created to provide industry leadership, actively identifying issues at the major port and building its digital strategy off of that foundation.

Issues were outlined through delivering port user groups, BCO and shipper roundtables, and trucker experience forums.

Bethann Rooney, Assistant Director of Strategy & Innovation, and the team at PANYNJ have collaborated with the six terminal operators lead from the front in taking ownership of what issues face them, and how they can leverage emerging technologies and data to meet those issues.

Rooney told the audience that from the CPP, the authority developed its Port Truck Pass Terminal Information Portal System (TIPS) a comprehensive single consolidated web portal for all six terminals: including port and terminal info; import container availability; and export booking inquiries

INFORM and bloog Machine Learning Workshop

Port optimisation tool provider INFORM has collaborated with bloog consulting to run a workshop on use case for Machine Learning (ML) in maritime.

Matthew Wittemeier, Senior Manager of International Marketing and Customer Relations at INFORM, said add-on optimisation and ML is a “hallmark” of INFORM’s support, previously using ML at the Port of Hamburg Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB).

“Our algorithms were originally written for fraud detection, but we ported those out of fintech for the ports industry – and shows how easy ML add-ons can be,” Wittemeier said.

Now, INFORM is taking ownership of working on tangible use cases of ML to deliver better digital solutions for customers around the world.

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