Smart ports: seven practical challenges for port authorities and terminal operators
The Marseille Fos port in southern France is leading the new French Smart Port in Med initiative, with an ambition to “build the port of the future”. It has a focus on efficiency, innovation, and environmental sustainability
The initiative has received funding from CMA CGM, French energy group EDF, Dutch data centre company Interxion, French shipping company La Meridionale, Marseille shopping centre Les Terrasses Du Port, and French industrial group Naval Group.
Each of these, along with the port authority itself, the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM), has sponsored a challenge to get developers to solve practical problems the port faces. The process is in full swing, and the finalists have been selected. Their challenges, which number seven in total, are as follows.
1 | CYBER MAPPING
Naval Group and GPMM want a way to map the connected components of the port – including cranes, gantries, grid, surveillance systems, and sundry computer systems – to identify potential targets of cyberattacks. Risk analysis is a legal obligation for ‘operators of vital importance’ (OVIs), and two parties have put it to local developers in a competition format to come up with a solution.
2 | TRAILER COLLECTION
La Méridionale has developed an RFID system to help truck drivers check and collect trailers on the cock. The trailer’s location is displayed on the driver’s smartphone, which he then uses to scan an RFID tag located on the trailer’s handbrake – both on collection and delivery. The challenge is to interface the run management system with the RFID tag displayed on the trailer and its location on the dock. The objective is to expedite traffic flow in the terminal.
3 | PORT ORIENTATION
Les Terrasses du Port, the local shopping centre, has sponsored a challenge to better inform port users about movement around the port. The objective, again, is to ease traffic. Problems come from the mix of traffic, also including public transit and tourist vehicles. The challenge requests new digital solutions – apps, digital signage, connected objects – for cruise ships and ferry passengers.
4 | RENEWABLE ENERGY
EDF wants to use local supply of renewable energy, including a new dockside electrical supply to minimise dependence on fossil fuels – without having to upgrade the existing system. It has proposed a study of the link between photovoltaic generation and energy storage, which considers that ships draw different amounts of power, up to 10 MW, depending on their size. The solution should be able to handle this demand, it says.
5 | BATTERY CAPACITY
In an electrical power outage, generators kick in. During the transition between the grid and the generators, data centres are temporarily powered by batteries. These need to be in “perfect working order”. Interxion, which owns local data centres in the industrial area around Fos, has sponsored a challenge to create a low-cost monitoring solution that issues alerts when batteries need changing. It wants to limit battery changes and, at the same time, secure the service.
6 | CONTAINER FLOW
Port congestion is increasing. Truck traffic can come to a standstill if a crane brakes, and slows if wrong information is provided, or no information is given. Shipping company CMA CGM has sponsored a challenge to optimise the flow with data analytics, targeting truck transportation, specifically. It wants a real-time system of alerts, bringing in all parties on the dock. Improvements will reverberate down the supply chain, it says.
7 | CARBON FOOTPRINT
GPMM has proposed a prototype of an ‘eco-calculator’ for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions based on the planned door-to-door transits of a container. It has requested entrants come up with a system that analyses logistics routes, including the upstream and downstream land segments and makes distinction between various routes and transport modes.
Check out the new report from Enterprise IoT Insights: ‘Smart Ports: Automation and Intelligence with Private LTE / 5G Networks and Public Network Slices’. Click here to see all the latest reports from Enterprise IoT Insights.