According to MANA,THE Port of Rotterdam Authority and IBM are to collaborate on a multi-year digitalization initiative to transform the port’s operational environment using Internet of Things technologies in the cloud to benefit the port and those who use it.
The initiative will also prepare the port's entire 42 km site to host connected ships and even autonomous shipping in the future.
It begins with the development of a centralised dashboard application that will collect and process real-time hydro, weather sensor and communications data, analysed through the IBM IoT platform. This will enable a new wave of safer and more efficient traffic management at the port, PRA said in a statement.
Rotterdam handles over 461m tonnes of cargo and more than 140,000 vessels annually, previously relying on traditional radio and radar communication between captains, pilots, terminal operators, tugs and more to make key decision on port operations.
The sensors will gather multiple data streams about tides and currents, temperature, wind speed and direction, water levels, berth availability and visibility.
This data will be analysed by IBM’s cloud-based IoT technologies and turned into information that 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.
For example, the port will now be able to predict the best time, based on tide levels, to have a ship arrive and depart Rotterdam, ensuring that the maximum amount of cargo is loaded on board.
With the new initiative, operators will also be able to view the operations of all the different parties at the same time, making that process more efficient. Shipping companies and the port stand to save up to one hour in berthing time, which can amount to about $80,000 in savings.