Rotterdam is a safe port, which it should be, as people should be able to work and clients do business in a safe environment. We keep challenging ourselves in the field of safety & security. How can we make it safer? The world is changing; how do we anticipate those changes?
The port of Rotterdam is a technological tour de force. More and more, machines and computers take over our tasks, which is a huge advantage, especially in the event of dangerous or repetitive work. At the same, time this involves risks, because who keeps a close eye on what’s going on? And what about responsibilities? Major economic interests are at stake and in practice, cybercrime is a real threat. In other respects, everything revolves around human efforts and as we all know: a mistake is easily made. Therefore, there are procedures and protocols to ensure the much- needed security. With the help of data, we believe we can make the port an even safer place.
Challenge 1: Hazardous Substances
All kinds of containers run through the port of Rotterdam. Some of them contain hazardous substances, which are sometimes transported next to another hazardous substance, presenting an ever greater risk. For example, in the event of a fire, certain combinations could be very explosive. All those containers are in motion. This is a real challenge: we need to know exactly where each container is, especially in the event of an incident. How can we have immediate insight into which hazar- dous substances are in the area? How can we receive a first, ball-park estimate from the smart classifications of transportation means and cargo? What can we make more transparent, using past big data and analytics?
Challenge 2: The Human Factor
The human factor plays a big part in the port, which presents opportunities as well as threats. For example, part of the labour force working in the port is behind in technical knowledge. In what way could they quickly brush up on the subject? How can apps and information contribute to this? At the same time, they have great sub- stantive knowledge and can go places that machines can’t reach. How can we apply these “human sensors” in a good way?
Challenge 3: Babel-like File Confusion – Breeding Ground for Cybercrime
The port revolves around IT and communications. Communication between people and people (phone calls, email, marine telephone), people and systems (notifications, forms, EDI) and systems and systems (web services, AIS, AGV, cranes. Without IT and these communication systems, the port will come to a halt. At the same time, we have a very limited view on these communication flows and the accompanying risks, leaving the door open to potential cybercrime. Major economic issues are at stake, so alertness is in order. The quest is to gain insight into and an overview of the risks concerning cybercrime in the port.
Challenge 4: Dynamic Logistical Risk Profile
Dutch legislation is strict when it comes to the transportation of hazardous substances. Some roads or tunnels are off limits. Simultaneously, the risks at those points are not always as substantial. How can we come up with a coordinating system, so that we always know where each container is located and what substances it transports? Can we develop a flexible logistical system that continuously maps out the ideal route? One that even sends out a warning if trucks containing hazardous substances that should be kept a safe distance from each other, are in danger of getting in range of each other?
Challenge 5: Safety and Perception
Safety is a relative concept. The Amsterdam red-light district feels like an unsafe area, but in practice it is such a strictly monitored area that the actual crime rate is very low. The actual safety is very important to the port. Did somebody die? Are people injured? How many times are rules breached? At the same time, those kind of figures, used to give more insight, can cause an unsafe feeling. How can we give more insight into the actual safety conditions in the port in such a way that it draws a real picture without creating a perception of unease in the port?