What should we know about Smart Ports?

What should we know about Smart Ports?

The 4.0 revolution in the naval and port industries is growing strong. Maritime ports are a part of the global mechanism that is constantly changing, innovating and evolving. From this concept the so-called Smart Ports are born. The concept of Smart Port, favours the use of technology to transform the public services of port enclaves. Its main objective is to satisfy the needs of port users with greater efficiency and transparency.

With the implementation of this technology it could, for example, register the license plates of the incoming and outgoing vehicles through cameras, monitor the trucks at the entrances of each terminal in order to control, plan and order the internal traffic of the port, or include forecasting systems and security alerts, among many other things.

The implementation of technological measures will influence all the different services and products of the port terminals. In addition to facilitating and optimizing port management, it will also allow to obtain greater performance in each dock.

The benefits of becoming a Smart Port

The correct implementation of these new technologies in a port, could generate the following benefits:

– Greater commercial profitability: the efficiency in maritime transport and the good management of the port will impact on the final price of products and services.

– Institutional transformation: the management of ports will be simplified and automated.

– Digital transformation: will allow the optimization of loading, unloading, storage, etc. In addition, it will detect risks in maritime transport, such as adverse weather or high levels of pollution.

How will the ports of the future be?

Currently, in Spain there are already initiatives, projects and programs for the development of these technological measures. An example of these are the ports of Seville, (optimizing the traffic of ships with the Tecnoport project), Vigo (focused on energy efficiency and monitoring of berths using the Smart Viport system) or Barcelona (implementing this innovation in the logistical aspects using the Port Challenge program).

The ports that bet on these technological advances will be those that will exist in the future, being able to meet the high demand for productivity and ecological needs, also thanks to the maintenance of controlled costs.

The Rotterdam example

Ports play a fundamental role in local and global economic development, with greater or lesser influence depending on their situation and capacity. At European level, the Dutch port of Rotterdam occupies a privileged place, with the highest traffic on the continent (450 million tonnes in shipments each year), a fact that has them aiming to become the smartest in the world.

Part of this process is closely linked to the digital transformation initiative that has been put together with IBM. After a long journey, the maritime transport industry is betting strongly on innovation, being one of the main references in this concept of Smart Ports, not only at European level but also


The Mid Atlantic Ship Repair & Supply Summit Las Palmas Port will devote special attention to the smart ports with the session “Industry 4.0 and Smart Shipyards”, where many specialists from national and international ports will share their experience of how innovation and new technologies can transform the ports.

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