The Port of Gothenburg is to roll out a customised digital platform that will enhance freight flow transparency and have a direct impact on productivity, lead times, and delivery capacity throughout the entire transport chain.
“It will be something of a Port of Gothenburg 2.0 that will benefit everyone linked to the port. Having said that, what is truly revolutionary is not just the technical transformation but what will emerge in its wake,” said Malin Collin, deputy chief executive officer at the Gothenburg Port Authority.
The greatest challenge will be to bring together the hundreds of organisations that cooperate and compete for transport at the Port of Gothenburg. Shipping companies, terminal operators, rail operators, forwarding companies, freight owners, and inland terminals each represent an individual thread, and together they will intertwine to form a complex freight transport network.
At present, all those involved use separate IT systems that measure and handle individual elements in the transport chain based on fragmented information. Interaction between them often means dipping into the system manually.
Unravelling the threads
The Gothenburg Port Authority is the network coordinator, which entails unravelling, digitalising, and reconnecting the threads. The plan is for all the fragments of information to be collated and processed using the very smartest technology in an effort to visualise and optimise the numerous processes at the Port of Gothenburg.
“Determining how this unravelled system works is not just a matter of randomly pulling the individual threads. We need to adopt a cohesive approach, working with all the parties concerned, and we are currently building a platform that will help us realise our objectives. What will emerge is a new digital services ‘ecosystem’ for the Port of Gothenburg in its role as a freight hub,” said Joseph Sandwing, head of digital business transformation at the Gothenburg Port Authority.
With these services, more rapid, high-quality information will facilitate flexible planning and collaboration between the different operators at the port. Data that is made available to us will allow shipping companies and ports to be integrated, with significant environmental gains as a result – through just-in-time arrival for example. Freight owners, rail operators, and terminal operators will be able to track their goods in real time. The response among those are affected has been overwhelmingly positive, and they have already identified the considerable potential that will be generated.
Platform complete in 2021
This week the procurement process was finalised with the provider Wabtech, which will be responsible for the technical solution. In the next phase, the Gothenburg Port Authority and Wabtech will lay out a joint project plan, bringing discussions with the various companies at the port to the next level and moving forward during the second half of 2021. What will materialise from this is a platform that can be built on and with at least one application based on three separate data sources.
“We have a vision of being the world’s most competitive port and if we are to deliver on that vision we need to develop our ideas and expertise in partnership. Everyone sitting down and being smart in their own compartmentalised world is no longer sufficient. Instead we need to link up and share what we have in a novel way if are to make the pioneering advances that we have envisaged. There is strong support for this transition throughout the whole of the freight hub, and everyone is looking to develop a smart, sustainable port. We are now getting down to the task of bringing our plans and ambitions to fruition,” said Malin Collin.