trends that are being seen today include climate change, the energy transition
and digitalisation that enhances efficiencies of the logistics and supply
fact that these are disruptive is very important for each and every port,” Van
der Plas Director of Port of Rotterdam International said.
Ports vulnerable to these trends because
of long-term capital investment
noted that ports can be vulnerable to these disruptive trends because of the
amount of long-term capital investment.
requires ports to be agile and resilient to changes. This means you have to
sort of reinvent yourself to be able to face these challenges of these
der Plas said there are three areas in digitisation that are of most important
from the Port of Rotterdam’s viewpoint: smart infrastructure, smart digital
applications and smart innovations.
Van der Plas suggested that ports must now
look differently at the kind of infrastructure you need and the way it is
management from design until the end of use, what moment in time do I need to
change or to be investing in infrastructure will change dramatically.
Of course, digitalisation will play an
important role in this.
Port of Rotterdam is already working on smarter infrastructure with sensors
installed which measure several data points to be able to improve asset
management. This ultimately leads to better predictions regarding what needs to
be reinvested in.
Smart digital applications
has been the first step in a chain towards digitization, Van der Plas noted.
is about connecting other links in a transport or supply chain. As a port
authority you cannot do this alone.”
the big picture, shippers, freight forwarders, operators, infrastructure
managers and contractors will all be connected resulting in a need to think of
swifter, safer and smarter solutions to be able to get a seamless supply through
the transport chain.
boards at ports ought to be very active in innovation to mitigate the impact of
the previously mentioned disruptive trends.
der Plas said port management boards need to be looking for new solutions, new
markets, new business models and ultimately new ways of working.
“The Port of Rotterdam is a big port but still
it is only one port and you need to exchange knowledge with others. You need to
learn from the experiences of other ports and from other sectors to be able to
learn and to boost your innovations at your port.”
Speaking about the upcoming Smart Digital Ports
conference Van der Plas said he expects these topics to be addressed and will
be of high interest to other ports because all ports are facing similar