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Digital Twin

Rotterdam and IBM prepare for digital ship clearance

The Port of Rotterdam is the largest freight terminal in Europe for commercial shipping. The port is teaming up with IBM to digitalize and automate its logistic operations.

09 Feb. 2018
Kai Tubessing
Foto: Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.
Foto: Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.

The automotive sector has set the precedent with the trend for connected cars; now, cargo ship manufacturers are following suit by connecting their vessels. In line with this trend, the Port of Rotterdam is teaming up with IBM to automate its ship clearance operations across its approximately 42-kilometer-long site. To this end, all relevant operations are to be digitalized by 2025. Various sensors that will continuously record data relating to water and weather, wind, temperature, visibility, ship movements, and free berths are currently being installed at the port.

IBM’s IoT technologies will then be used to analyze this data and create a ‘digital twin’ of the port. Port of Rotterdam operators hope this virtual mapping will help them significantly boost the efficiency of all operations across the site. The process should save up to one hour in berthing time, which saves up to US$ 80,000 and ensuring that a more vessels can be handled per day. The systematic modernization project will also help the port’s operators cement the status of The Netherlands as the country with the world’s best port infrastructure .