Rotterdam goes live with embedded port IoT platform

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has gone live with a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform, utilising a network of sensors around the port to provide up-to-date water and weather data to support the improved planning and management of ships using the facility.

Plans to build the IoT platform were first announced in 2018, in collaboration with partners IBM, Cisco, Esri and Axians. The basic building blocks for the system have now been implemented, which will allow the Port of Rotterdam to scale up new applications based on the embedded infrastructure, while also laying the foundation to facilitate autonomous shipping in the future, the Port said.

“It’s a fantastic step in the development of Rotterdam as ‘smartest port’,” notes Ronald Paul, the Port Authority’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Just as important, however, is that the Cloud platform and the generated real-time information, which includes infrastructure, water and weather condition data, enable us to further improve mission-critical processes in the service to our clients.”

The completion of the newly launched hydro/meteo application was the first mission-critical test for the new IoT platform. The system obtains height of tide, tidal stream, salinity, wind speed, wind direction and visibility data via a combination of 44 sensors in the port, analysed using a variety of prediction models along with data from Rijkswaterstaat and astronomical calculations.

The information provided by the application should contribute to reductions of waiting times and optimisation of berthing, loading/unloading and departure times, the Port said, by, for example, more precisely predicting the best time to berth and depart, depending on water conditions, while guaranteeing maximum loads.

The Pilotage Service, Rijkswaterstaat, DCMR and various departments within the Port Authority will all be given access to the new platform to optimise operations, with some 1.2 million data points for models, systems and users already being processed by the system on a daily basis.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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