TIC4.0 – Interview series: Mark Wootton, CIO Yilport Holding about standardization in the container terminal industry

1. What do you think is the current status of standardization in the container terminal industry, what are the points not addressed yet?

A lot of work has been done in the standardization of message flows between industry participants, mainly terminal operators, shipping lines and customs authorities. Although the underlying technologies may need to be updated (or are being updated) from traditional EDI to webservices, the format and exchange of data is quite mature. Where the focus is currently is to bring this level of maturity to the exchange of data between equipment/machines and operational and planning systems.

2. From your point of view, why are standards important moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution and IoT?

In order not to have to build from scratch the interfaces between sensors and equipment and operational systems, these standards should be developed and adopted by the industry. The effort to develop these on a per project basis make this a costly and time-consuming exercise which slows down the adoption of technology into the industry which will improve safety as well as efficiency.

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Digital port as base for big pictures

Prof. Dr. Holger. Schütt speaks in the online interview about the digitalisation as a base for big pictures which will allow you to revolutionise your port processes. He explains why digitalisation is an ongoing process!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a view at your container terminal like if you look out of the window? A 3D-view of your terminal is not just a game, it is a vital opportunity to vividly improve your port economics.

Enjoy the interview from Black Sea Ports & Shipping Conference 2020 in Instanbul (postponed to 2021) about digital port opportunities.

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We asked Luisa Kempf, Chief Technology Officer of EUROGATE Technical Services: Why join TIC?

1. What do you think is the current status of standardization in the container terminal industry, what are the points not addressed yet?

Standardization in the container terminal industry is on a very low level. Especially looking at the details: the variety of terminology and range of definition is very big. Even in one terminal the position of the same technical item is identified in a different way, depending on the vendor. I just saw this with identifying the exact position of a wheel with regards to the container handling equipment. Even in a traditional (non-digitised) world – imagine the amount of misunderstandings that are being caused by this lack of standards. Digitising a process and making sense out of the data based on this foundation is almost impossible!

For the industry, being on such a low level is good news in two ways: there is a big potential for improvement and there are a lot of low hanging fruits. Both means that the positive effects of standardization will become visible, which is a huge motivation for all involved parties.

2. From your point of view, why are standards important moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution and IoT?

Standards are important to minimize the cost of moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution. The cost of implementation in a standardized environment will be lower compared to the current situation, because items can be identified in an unambiguous way and the interpretation of signals and messages is clear.

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MaritIEm – a project for greener terminals

The project name “MaritIEm” stands for emission and concentration modelling in maritime transport chains. The project of the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) and IVU Umwelt GmbH (IVU) is funded by the BMVI research initiative mFUND and runs since June 2020 until May 2023. We talked to the project manager Flóra Zsuzsanna Gulyás.

Hello Ms. Gulyás, what goals are you pursuing with the MaritIEm project?

The volume of traffic in port cities caused by the handling of goods is high and continues to increase. This naturally also leads to a deterioration in air quality. The emission of air pollutants has a particularly local impact on the environment and people’s health. The aim of the project is to investigate measures based on different scenarios that reduce the impact of climate gases and air pollutants from port-related activities or maritime transport chains in port cities. The effect of the measures in different scenarios will be calculated. In these scenarios, we use Bremen and Bremerhaven as model cities to demonstrate different effects of different measures. Subsequently, the question is how we can transfer these findings to other European seaports and how a new data-based methodology can be established that integrates the planned models.

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TIC4.0 – Standards: Why are standards in the port and terminal industry helping small ports?

port industry standards for port industryThe port and terminal industry is going for more integration and automation across various levels of the processes. Due to this the terminal industry is striving for more standards and does that in different initiatives such as the Terminal Industry Committee 4.0 (TIC4.0), “Port Call Optimization” or others. Often standards don’t need to be reinvented because there are some existing standards in the industry such as IMDG, BIC or ISO. But these are often too little process oriented to help with the integration and digitization. Therefore, the initiatives put these standards and new definitions in a process-oriented context. These standards are meant defining industry wide standards and therefore are required to drive forward the integration, digitization and automation on various levels more efficiently.

Benefits for small ports from port industry standards

Earlier this year I spoke at an online conference at Connect2SmallPorts project (C2SP) which is an EU funded initiative to push digitization for small ports and terminals in the Southern Baltic Sea. After discussing and being in contact with this project, the question came up: Are small ports and terminals benefiting from standards or is this only something for big ports or terminals with big automation projects?

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