UNCTAD report examines digitalisation of port processes

The port call process involves a staggering array of actors and events

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published a new study evaluating the potential for digitalisation to improve the port call process within the global transportation system, the culmination of nearly 10 years of research within a number of different projects looking to streamline maritime trade.

The Digitalizing the port call process report has been compiled by a group from the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), and reflects the insights gained by the Port Collaborative Decision Making (PortCDM) team at RISE during the last seven years of applied research on data sharing and collaboration within the sector.

This latest study aims to identify the principal tensions and opportunities involved in the ongoing digitalisation of the maritime sector, examining developing trends involving global maritime stakeholders and highlighting the various initiatives that have been created to accelerate the evolution of the industry.

“The PortCDM team at RISE has, for almost 10 years, put a lot of effort into understanding how digital technologies can contribute to better performance in the ship-port interaction for enhanced port call performance,” explained Mikael Lind, Senior Strategic Research Advisor at RISE and one of the authors of the report.

“Knowledge about the business opportunities and the environmental benefits to be gained from digitalising port call operations, particularly in the context of berth-to-berth shipping as part of the global transport chain, can now reach a much wider audience through this UNCTAD article.”

The report covers a range of different industry sectors, identifying their specific requirements in the context of future digitalisation efforts, and examines the role of regulators, port authorities, vessel operators and other stakeholders in improving efficiency across the supply chain.

The importance of the development of international data standards in the maritime transportation chain is also highlighted, with reference to ongoing industry projects and other intergovernmental efforts such as the development of a ‘single window’ infrastructure for digital reporting.

The complete report is available for download for free from the UNCTAD website.

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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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