PortForward: digital solutions for ports

Digitising ports and their hinterland is a complex undertaking. We strongly believe in a step-by-step approach. This model for digital maturity shows how ports gradually develop into smart ports.

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Level 1: Individual automation

In this phase, both port authorities and businesses and organisations in and close to the port focus on automating their processes, information management and asset management. In Rotterdam this involves the Port Authority, warehouses, towing companies, coast guard, boatmen, inspection services and port clients.

Visual level 1

Level 2: An integrated system in the port

In this phase, all businesses in the port involved in the port processes actively share information by integrating their IT systems within a single digital environment. A good example of this could be a Port Management System like Portmaster, a port community system like Portinsider or the platform PortXchange for port call optimisation.

Visual level 2

Level 3 – From port to hinterland

In this phase, players in the logistics chain to and from the hinterland get involved in the digital communications with the port community. This includes parties such as rail and ship operators, shippers, inland ports, inland terminals etc. Arrival and departure times are determined jointly and shared with hinterland players. Modes of transport and cargo can be tracked and traced online. Options also include combining the cargo and making the optimal choice between modalities. In short, coordinating and sharing information leads to increased transparency and efficiency in port logistics and hinterland transport.

Visual level 3

Level 4 – Connected Ports and Logistics Chains

The future scenario: digital communication between a port and its hinterland will be scaled up to a global level. The port will now also share digital information worldwide with other ports and logistics players regarding ships and other means of transport: departure and arrival points, cargo, crew, expected departure and arrival times. Thanks to AIS, everyone is aware of a ship’s location, route, speed and cargo. In short: full transparency between ports around the globe emerges in this phase. Scaling up to the highest maturity level requires the resolve of ports to collaborate and approach their competitors with an open mind. This transition is still in its infancy, but it has massive potential. This will make port calls more efficient, thus reducing costs and it will reduce waiting times in the port. The worldwide scheduling of port calls makes slow steaming possible and increases sustainability. The result: a practically perfect logistics chain and safe, rapid and traceable door-to-door cargo flows.

Visual level 4


For more information, contact:

Wouter Buck
Wouter Buck
Product Lead Digital Business Solutions
+31 (0)6 42476582

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