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Update: SmartPort: Information in Your Hands

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Author(s): Miguel Montesinos, Partner and CTO, Prodevelop and Juan Antonio Sánchez, Chief Information Officer, Port Authority of Cartagena, Spain

In recent decades, ports have been going through a continuous transition of becoming more open to their communities. They have evolved from being civil works managers to service providers, and this transformation has led to more and more information being exchanged between the port and its environment.

Thus, port authorities began to exchange information electronically with their partners, first using electronic data interchange (EDI), and later implementing port community systems (PCS). With the development of the internet, ports also started to publish information on their websites, first static data and subsequently dynamic information, creating a communication channel with its environment that is firmly consolidated. This opening up process has affected the interaction with ports’ business partners, like ship agents, terminals, shipping lines etc. and also the relationship with its local community.

A vast number of ports are located in the vicinity or heart of cities. This fact has meant that the opening up of the ports has needed to respond to pressure from citizens wanting to know about the port as a part of their home city. In this spirit, a lot of port-city integration projects have been developed all around the globe. Furthermore, the increasing number of cruises arriving with tourists eager to visit a city in just a few hours, who need to start and finish their stay in the port, has resulted in the need for both an improved and faster communication exchange. Port authoritiesare seeing how citizens and tourists have become relevant stakeholders in the port’s community. These significant stakeholders are not a passing trend, they are here to stay, and they provide port business with crucial revenue. Thus, sharing port information with community business partners, citizens and cruise passengers becomes a must…

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