Smart Port, intelligent port or port 4.0. These are the terms that give name to the new digitised ports: infrastructures of impressive dimensions that have evolved in the pursuit of digitisation through Smart Solutions.

The smart port concept tries to improve the quality of life of the users as much as possible, as well as to enhance production through an efficient and responsible management of resources and services.

Smart Ports have become the future of ports, completely revolutionising the scenario.


What is a Smart Port

Smart Ports are terminals that use the newest technologies to run their operations more effectively.

The digitisation of seaports generates a huge amount of information that makes them more profitable, efficient and sustainable. Combining Industry 4.0 with the implementation of technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain, among others, connects and interlinks port management processes into a single integrated operations platform.

But how do they achieve these objectives? Through the use of smart applications.


Key applications in a 4.0 port

  • Big data. Massive data management, organisation and storage. Minimises delays, prevents unexpected events and improves port production and throughput.
  • Artificial Intelligence. This is used to make production machines capable of collecting, processing and interpreting data to improve mechanical automation. These changes lead to more accurate predictions, for example, in loading and unloading times.
  • Internet of Things. Container tracking, tracking of goods traffic, improved tracking, water level, temperature… Thanks to the IoT, all kinds of information stored in the cloud is obtained and managed, keeping an accurate monitoring of the port in real time.
  • An effective, unalterable and decentralised data record. The aim of this blockchain is to do away with intermediaries. In this way, these intermediaries are prevented from keeping your data and trading with it.
  • Automation is another of the objectives of Smart Ports. For example, Shanghai airport launched a smart command and control centre in 2021 to drive machinery and operate more efficiently.
  • Digital twins. The use of digital twins helps ports to manage and make more efficient decisions. For example, the port of Rotterdam has a system with bilateral connections that, together with an automated deep-water terminal, helps reduce fuel consumption.


Advantages of Smart Ports

These are some of the advantages of the digitisation of Smart Ports:

  • More efficient port operations
  • Immediate and real-time data management
  • Reduction of waiting times
  • Improved internal and external communication
  • Prevention of failures, thanks to the application of predictive maintenance
  • Energy savings and reduction of gas emissions
  • Reduced maintenance and operating costs


The 6 features of smart buildings


Smart Ports case studies

More and more ports have decided to apply smart solutions to their infrastructure:

Port of Rotterdam

The port of Rotterdam is said to be the “smartest port in the world”. This infrastructure meticulously monitors every movement of the ships, studies the meteorology of the area, the geography and the water depth.

This port also has an intelligent container called Container 42 which collects all kinds of data during all its routes. Equipped with a large number of sensors, it collects information on vibration, position, sound, air pollution, the humidity and temperature of the place, etc.

The Dutch port collects all this data in the cloud computing and processes it to improve the user experience.


Port of Barcelona

The port of Barcelona has connected the ships to the electricity system, reducing CO2 emissions. It has also implemented a port dashboard to monitor any parameter of port activity at all times.

In addition, it has installed IoT sensors on land and sea, which capture all kinds of valuable information to improve the port’s functions.


Port of Vigo

This port is looking for energy efficiency and through smart solutions, has improved the flow of information between ports and port communities.

In order to improve security in the area, they have installed a system of viewers and sensors incorporating smart cameras. These are responsible for counting and monitoring all the objects and people that appear on the site.


Looking for a partner for port digitalisation?

Nexus Integra is the integrated operational platform that will allow you to centrally monitor and manage all your assets in real time.

With it, you will get a single operations platform, where you will have all the Smart solutions, Smart SCADAs, dashboards, alarms and advanced reports.

The platform has different algorithms developed especially for you to make better decisions by comparing historical trends and real-time data.

Contact our specialised team and make data-based decisions.