The Port of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is to be developed into a Smart Port Lab for research into AI-enabled port infrastructure, following the agreement of a new partnership between the Ponce Port Authority and tech firm Scale AI.
Through a $2 million investment project, Scale will develop infrastructure at the Port of Ponce to support AI-enabled document processing, route optimisation, object recognition, remote operations and computer vision, to be utilised across Puerto Rico and exported into new and emerging ports across the globe.
The Smart Port Lab will enhance operational processes at the port and modernise shipping and transportation equipment, unifying siloed shipping and port data, developing AI-enabled, remote ship-to-shore operation capabilities, and enabling the digital tracking of assets in and around the port, giving terminal operators complete visibility of their shipping logistics and supply chain networks.
“The Smart Port Lab from Scale AI is poised to be a game-changer for economic development in Puerto Rico,” said Ella Woger-Nieves, CEO of Invest Puerto Rico.
“This initiative will help Ponce become a critical hub for inbound and outbound logistics by creating a cutting-edge AI-enabled facility, enhancing Puerto Rico’s competitiveness and ability to attract more business and investment to the region. State-of-the-art technologies such as this one will further position the island as a global logistics leader.”
The Port of Ponce has been hit by a series of natural disasters in recent years, including earthquakes in 2020, Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Fiona. The economic impact of these disasters has been significant, with estimates of the effect on the local economy ranging from $139 billion up to $159 billion.