SPSCT18: Day Two in Review


The Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies Conference 2018 highlighted the need for business models in the container shipping and supply chain industry to evolve.

In the second of two reviews, following coverage of day one, Port Technology recaps the key highlights from day two of the conference, where the focus of discussions turned to end-to-end solutions.

In a session on supply chain logistics, FAST Applications CEO Adam Yaron emphasised that rising levels of demand, in an era of next-day delivery, are also accompanied by rising customer expectations.


Adam Yaron discusses digital freight forwarding in a recent Port Technology technical paper


However, increasing demand has also prompted greater investment in maritime technologies, with over $1 billion injected during the last year alone. This is more than double the amount invested in the previous five years.

Another topic of debate was how smart ports and terminals can leverage innovation to boost the efficiency of their operations.



Dr. Francisco de los Santos, Chief Technology Officer of the Port of Algeciras, described innovation as a process which is “continuous, systematic and integrated”.

Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital Innovation Officer of the Port of Antwerp, also commented on this issue, arguing that “not all innovation has to be digital” when deciding how to make ports and terminals smarter.



The human element was also explored on the second day of the conference, Vincent Valentine asserting that manned operations can lead to errors and disruption for smart ports and the supply chain.

In a keynote address, Senior Vice President of INFORM Dr. Eva Savelsberg looked ahead to a future of smart technologies in 2038, many of which will be applied to improve operations within ports.



Another session on day two considered what smart solutions can be implemented today in order to boost ports and container terminals.

According to Dr. Urban Siller, Identec Solutions, “an automated solution must be able to monitor every container”, allowing for a holistic overview of the entire terminal.

SPSCT18: TBA’s 10 Tips for Smart Terminals

In the final panel of this year’s Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies Conference, Wolfgang Lehmacher led a discussion on the significant pain points and challenges facing ports today.

Katherine Foster and Nadia Hewett returned to the subject of blockchain, one of many technological solutions that can help smart ports to share information and mitigate risks.



Port Technology would like to thank all of its sponsors for their support and contribution to this year’s event. The Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies Conference will return to Rotterdam in 2019.

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