Digitalisation in the port industry

Ports serve as the central hub for most trade flows and play an overall crucial role in worldwide trade. To continuously strengthen their ports and to keep up with the overall economic development countries started investing heavily in digital technology within their port industry. Especially in Europe the ports and the countries are in fierce competition over their port’s technological advancement. This is due to the close proximity of the ports and their importance for each country.

To more specifically pinpoint digital technology developments in the port industry an overview of pilot projects and first activities was given. Two areas were looked at. The first area was European ports in the North and Baltic Sea, particularly larger ones, such as port of Rotterdam and port of Hamburg. The identification of the technological advancements in those large ports will help to better show the possible steps that smaller ports can eventually take. Secondly ports from the South Baltic Sea Region (SBR) were be considered with a focus on the region and the given conditions of small ports.

It is those smaller ports that were selected as part of the Connect2SmallPorts project to be audited and evaluated on their current digitalisation condition.

Why an auditing tool is necessary?

Many small ports in the southern Baltic Sea Region and in general are facing the current development of “Digitalisation”. Since there is no general procedure how to tackle this issue, the level of digitalization varies greatly between different ports. To find out how the different ports are coping with the matter, an auditing tool was created.

The auditing tool includes the three main areas: Organizational aspects, Operational aspects and Staff and Innovation Aspects. For each of the areas a selection of questions is asked to find out and ultimately evaluate the current progress the port has in terms of digital development.

Activities 3.1 – 3.3 Report

Development of State-of-the-Art on Blockchain technologies in Ports and Terminals

Research on best practices, best knowledge, collection and analysis of the information and materials. Accumulation of the information to the SB region and the given conditions of the small ports.

Development of Cross-Border Digital Auditing Tool for Small Ports

Coverage of different transport and cargo related aspects: reduction of parking-related transport in port terminals; reduction of delays; shorter travel times; managing terminal space demand; safety and security (Blockchain); environmental compliance; financial modelling.

Development of Cross-Border Digital Auditing Tool Application Procedure

Implementing digital auditing in 3 direct partners locations. It will be 2-3 day events at partner’s location with participation of external experts as evaluators and validators. Preparatory measures and follow-up work. We will have 5 more ports from the region (rf. APs.).