Shipping article(s)
February 4, 2018

The Port of Rotterdam Authority and IBM will collaborate on a multi-year digitization initiative to transform the port’s operational environment using Internet of Things technology.


According to the port authority, the project will begin with the development of a centralized dashboard application which will collect and process real-time water, weather and communications data. The data will be analyzed through IBM’s IoT platform to enable safer and more efficient traffic management at the port. The initiative will also prepare the port’s entire 42-kilometre site to host connected ships in the future.


Self Photos / Files - Port of Rotterdam


“Here in Rotterdam, we are taking action to become the smartest port in the world,” said Paul Smits, chief financial officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “Speed and efficiency is essential to our business, and requires us to use all of the data available to us. Thanks to real-time information about infrastructure, water, air, etc., we can enormously improve the service we provide to everyone who uses the port, and prepare to embrace the connected, autonomous shipping of the future.”


The port previously relied on traditional radio and radar communication between captains, pilots, terminal operators, tugboats and others to make key decision on port operations. As part of the new digitization project, sensors are now being installed across the port and along quay walls, mooring posts and roads. These sensors will gather data on water, weather, tides and currents, temperature, wind speed and direction, water levels, berth availability and visibility.


The data will be analyzed by IBM’s cloud-based IoT technology and turned into information which the Port of Rotterdam can use to make decisions that reduce wait times, determine optimal times for ships to dock, load and unload, and enable more ships into the available space.


Cisco and Axians are also involved in the digital transformation project.


The Port of Rotterdam is the largest seaport in Europe and handles over 461 million tonnes of cargo and more than 140,000 vessels every year.

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