Port Logistic

The port logistics sector must respond to the new challenges and scenarios posed by a series of transforming factors that have plunged port logistics into a process of transformation that is in an unprecedented phase of acceleration.

Efficiency in logistics-port operations 

The port logistics sector plays a key role in the leadership position and competitiveness of any country and the importance of ports as drivers of international trade is decisive for the maintenance of economic activity. Likewise, logistics chains are increasingly global, complex and demanding. The only possible response to meet the new needs of both organisations providing logistics services and end users is to improve trade, transport and logistics processes.

Synchronisation of maritime-land operations

In order to achieve this greater connectivity and synchronisation of operations, the collaboration and involvement of the port agents is necessary, especially between the operators (terminals, service providers, transport operators, etc.) and the Port Authority. In this respect, it is essential to have a shared vision in relation to the sustainability and efficiency of the port.

Process automation

For ports, the response and adaptation to current challenges involves their transformation at different levels: organisational, operational, technological and labour. At each of these levels, process automation is playing a very relevant role, acting as a catalyst for this transformation.

Technologies associated with information flows

One of the fundamental instruments that have allowed ports to advance in their digital transformation and in the efficiency of their operations are Port Community Systems and Terminal Operations Systems.

Building on the foundations laid by Port Community Systems and Terminal Operations Systems, it is now possible to increase the capacity of ports to move towards synchro-modality of operations and greater port modal efficiency through the deployment of technologies associated with the Industry 4.0 model.

New logistics models

The efficiency of logistics chains requires the development of an integrated and intermodal transport system. In recent years, thanks to technological evolution and digital transformation, it has also become possible to talk about new logistics models such as Physical Internet, Port-Centric Logistics and Synchromodal Logistics.

Decarbonisation

The decarbonisation of port activities is a priority need at this time due to the growing international concern about the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Ports have an unprecedented opportunity to advance in this reduction of emissions, employing a combination of solutions based on the use of renewable energies (mainly solar and wind), the application of alternative zero-emission fuels such as green hydrogen and the deployment of digital solutions to improve and make port processes and operations more efficient.

Energy dimension of ports

The ports are not only undergoing a process of transformation at the logistical level, but also at the energy level. Indeed, in addition to being important distribution nodes, the ports are going to evolve towards centres of energy generation both for their own consumption and for nearby areas, favouring energy efficiency and decarbonisation.

Decarbonisation of maritime and land transport

The decarbonisation of maritime and land transport necessarily involves a progressive replacement of current fossil fuels with alternative energy carriers such as hydrogen, especially in the form of green hydrogen, generated from renewable energies such as solar photovoltaic or wind energy.

Segurity

Port services, traffic control and surveillance, infrastructure maintenance and worker safety are key aspects for the proper functioning of port sites. The field of port security has undergone major development in recent years due to the development of new technologies and security models.

Cybersecurity

The growing development of information and communication systems, as well as their connectivity, has contributed to the exponential increase of intangible virtual threats, known as “cyber-attacks”, which are increasingly affecting the maritime sector. Today, no port security management model can be considered without a cybersecurity component, as critical infrastructures are increasingly dependent on the proper functioning and protection of cyber-physical systems.

José Andrés Giménez Maldonado, leader of Logistop's Port Logistics Working Group
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