SPSCT18: TBA’s 10 Tips for Smart Terminals


In his presentation on smart terminal solutions at the Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies Conference 2018, TBA Group Founder Dr. Yvo Saanen outlined the ten “must-haves” for smart terminals today.

1) Firstly, terminals must be connected with the outer world through secure digital ledgers, instead of error-prone and slow paper operations.

2) In addition to being connected with the outer world, a smart terminal should also be connected to its assets; this includes container handling equipment, mobile devices and the gate.

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3) As well as equipment, the human presence in a smart terminal must be connected, with the location of each worker documented in real time and available through a simple communication network.

4) Real-time control of the terminal, from a holistic point of view, will allow for the optimization of port operations.


Courtesy of TBA Group


5) Another aspect of improving operations at a smart terminal is the planning process, which must facilitate connectivity by setting priorities, allocating resources and overseeing all service points within the terminal.

6) Data needs to be used effectively in order for a terminal to become smart, which means that KPI’s like vessel productivity, yard occupancy and moves per container visit need to be measured in real-time.

7) It is important to remember that all data is crucial for smart ports and terminals, therefore necessitating the continuous analysis of performance across the terminal at all times.



8) The correct and regular training of staff can boost the productivity of smart terminals massively; modern educational methods such as micro-learning and gamification must be used to continuously assess the workforce.

9) Instead of looking solely to the future, there is a lot for smart terminals to learn by looking to the past. Collating data from a significant period of time will establish a higher degree of predictability for terminal operators.

10) Organisation, planning and forward-thinking, envisioned on both a short-term and long-term basis, is vital for smart terminals. As Saanen argues, “if you fail to plan, plan to fail”.

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