When it comes to logistics, the port of Rotterdam combines all the advantages and challenges. We are one of the few ports with all modalities present: inland waterway shipping, freight traffic and train tracks. At the same time, we are faced with the challenge of numerous providers and no overview, except on terminal planning. This while we expect that the number of containers will increase by 2 or 3 times in the coming years and that the infrastructure will remain as it is.
Still too often trucks, ships and rail wagons leave or go to the port half empty or even empty. Also, it is rarely discussed what the ideal sequence of loading is, not even by the transporter. In short: all providers mostly just think about their own optimization, which is not strange, since they are entrepreneurs and responsible for their own company management. What would be helpful? If it is transparent where each provider is located at that moment, a lot of profit can be gained. Terminals can better anticipate how much faster and more efficiently they can unload ships. This will turn the amount of time saved into profit. As a result, the general position of the port will be improved, which will have a positive effect on all those individual parties as well.
Challenge 1: Insight/Transparency
How can we create more insight into the location, destination and transportation of all trucks, inland waterway vessels and rail wagons? And for each location have information on the duration of their actual stay and their status (full, empty)? It is important to get a clear picture of the scope of flexibility as well: how much more can be added and how tight are their schedules? It is also important to be able to import the activity performed and particulars about the cargo into a continuously up-to-date system that follows changes ‘live’.
Challenge 2: Logistical Weather Forecast
With the help of past data, combined with live data, is it possible to create insight into what the expected traffic in the port will be over a period of twelve hours regarding the supply of containers? And can we create a link to the number of available trucks, inland waterway vessels and rail wagons?
Challenge 3: Effective Inner Port Dues
Can we come up with a local or national system with which we can collect port dues easier and more effectively? With the option to pay for actual usage and to take other various matters into account, such as various areas, extent of efficiency and cargo? The system must be compatible with different signals (GPS, AIS), different rates and agreements.
Challenge 4: Sustainable Meter
How can we create insight into the CO2 footprint in and around the port? How much spillage is there? How many green spots does the port have, what is going to be removed and what is going to be added?