Drones in Action: How the Port of Rotterdam Reduces CO2 Emissions

The Port of Rotterdam has achieved a pioneering milestone by obtaining authorization to deploy long-range drones in inspection and surveillance operations, marking a crucial step in reducing CO2 emissions and promoting sustainable energy in the port sector.

How will the drones in Port of Rotterdam work?

These drones, managed from the Command and Control Center at the Port Coordination Division of the Port Captaincy, are just the beginning of an ambitious vision. The Port Authority is designing a comprehensive drone network that spans the entire port, operated from a central hub. This network will be key to establishing a real-time connection between the images transmitted by the drones and assessments by the Port Captaincy Division.

Compromise with Safety

Drones will not only play a crucial role in inspection and surveillance tasks but will also be used in incident prevention, closely collaborating with the Joint Fire Department.

This commitment to drone technology is a tangible expression of the Port Authority of Rotterdam’s vision: to make the port more efficient, safe, and sustainable. Furthermore, the drone innovation program in the port is becoming an “experimental space” for drone service providers, promising significant advancements in the responsible use of this technology.

Concrete examples of how drones benefit the port include the inspection of key infrastructure such as bridges and cranes, early detection of potential pollutant leaks, and monitoring of maritime traffic congestion. All of these contribute to operational efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Thanks to this initiative, the Port of Rotterdam is leading the way in adopting technological solutions that have a positive impact on its operations, making them more environmentally friendly and sustainable, while setting a standard for the global port industry.

For more content about ports, technology and innovation, read our blog.

Sustainable Energy: 6 Projects to Transform the Future of Shipping Logistics

Sustainable energy is the main focus in the journey towards innovation. Today, we want to share with you 6 groundbreaking projects that focus on energy transition in 2023. These initiatives are not just milestones, but beacons of hope in our collective mission towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Sustainable Energy 

WarmtelinQ: Underground Potential

Meet WarmtelinQ, the visionary underground pipeline channeling residual heat from Rotterdam’s bustling port to homes and businesses in The Hague. More than a construction project, it’s a step towards harnessing energy for a better use.

 

Porthos: Charting a Course for Carbon Capture

Porthos plan is to transport CO2 from industrial giants within Rotterdam’s port and store it beneath the North Sea. This feat capture a 2.5 million tons of CO2 annually, an essential measure propelling Dutch climate goals. Porthos construction is set to start in early 2024 and operations by 2026.

Sustainable Fuel

Shell’s Biodiesel Refinery: Crafting Eco-friendly Elixirs

Shell’s visionary biodiesel refinery in Pernis is a haven for sustainable aviation fuel, ensuring more green flights an reducing the pollution.

 

NESTE’s Biofuel Oasis: Pioneering Sustainable Flights

Neste’s biofuel stronghold in Maasvlakte is crafting a legacy of eco-conscious aviation fuel, promoting cleaner journeys from start to finish.

 

Hydrogen Energy Projects

Holland Hydrogen 1: Crafting a Green Symphony

Maasvlakte’s conversion park is a canvas for crafting the largest green hydrogen plant in Europe. The 200 MW electrolyzer, set in Rotterdam’s heart, will produce 60,000 kilograms of renewable hydrogen daily, a huge progress to set start in 2025.

 

Hydrogen Imports: Bridging Continents with Green Power

Hydrogen imports are bridging nations and industries, uniting to replace natural gas. Energy-hungry sectors are embracing the power of hydrogen, with the Northwestern European region leading the charge.

 

These projects aren’t just about energy; they’re about a shared commitment to a better world. They’re proof that innovation and conservation can dance hand in hand, creating a symphony that resonates for generations to come.

 

Learn more about sustainability here.

 

Source: Hub.com.pa

Maritime Safety in the Era of New Technologies and Sustainable Fuels

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has recognized the role that maritime safety and sustainability play in a world where technological advancements and environmental concerns shape industries. As proof to this commitment, the IMO has chosen “Navigating the Future: Safety First” as the World Maritime Theme for 2024, reflecting its dedication to ensuring safe and sustainable maritime operations.

 

The Significance of the Theme

 

The theme encapsulates the maritime industry’s journey towards embracing innovation while prioritizing safety. The integration of new technologies and alternative fuels allow the maritime landscape to transform and evolve fast. The IMO’s choice of theme also underscores the importance of proactive regulatory measures and anticipatory approaches.

 

Advancing Maritime Safety

 

Safety has always been at the heart of the IMO’s activities since its inception in 1948. Sure, the maritime sector is integrating digitalization, automation, and other technological advancements even more. This new wave of technology aims to improve safety, protection, and efficiency. That’s why embracing technologies like autonomous surface ships aligns with the IMO’s dedication to ensure that these innovations complement safety measures rather than compromise them.

 

Sustainable Practices and Alternative Fuels

 

Not everything is about tech, the theme also aligns with the global push towards sustainability. By exploring alternative fuels with lower environmental impact, the maritime industry reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and the IMO is actively promoting the use of alternative fuels. 

 

Synchronization with the United Nations’ SDGs

 

The World Maritime Theme for 2024 closely aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by emphasizing safety, environmental protection, and innovation. The theme contributes to SDGs such as ensuring access to sustainable energy, promoting economic growth, building resilient infrastructure, combating climate change, and preserving marine resources.

 

The maritime sector is embarking on a transformative journey that intertwines innovation with environmental responsibility. With this theme, the IMO reaffirms its commitment to steering the maritime sector towards a future that is not only technologically advanced but also safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible. 

 

To learn more about how the maritime sector is evolving, you can read here.

Solar Farms Out at Sea: Pioneering Clean Energy Advancements

Picture solar farms like this: rows of solar panels generating electricity on circular rafts, braving waves as high as 10 meters in China’s Yellow Sea, about 30 kilometers off the coast of Shandong province. This experiment by State Power Investment Corp. and Ocean Sun AS is a groundbreaking test of offshore solar technology, offering new possibilities for clean energy.

 

Offshore solar farms have the potential to change the renewable energy sector by allowing renewable installations in sea locations. It offers a way for land-constrained regions to accelerate their transition away from fossil fuels. 

 

The versatility of offshore solar knows no bounds. Regions such as parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, including places like Singapore and Hong Kong, are constrained by land, so this technology is of great interest. Shandong, an industrial hub, has ambitious plans to add over 11 gigawatts of solar offshore by 2025, and Jiangsu aims to add 12.7 gigawatts. Japan, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and other nations are also exploring similar ventures.

 

How can we benefit from solar farms?

 

The potential benefits are immense, with locations like Huainan in China’s Anhui province showcasing installations of about half a million floating solar panels on artificial lakes. Research suggests that adding solar systems on existing reservoirs could enable more than 6,000 global cities and communities to develop self-sufficient power systems.

 

While the idea holds great potential, there are still some unknowns. We need more studies to understand the lasting effects of placing solar panels on water bodies. In China, they have limited certain freshwater locations due to worries about how it might impact the environment.

 

Developers are actively experimenting with different concepts, such as Ocean Sun’s innovative ring-shaped floaters and SolarDuck AS’s triangular platforms. Although offshore solar may come with higher installation costs compared to onshore solar, it offers a unique opportunity for land-starved coastal cities like Singapore to embrace renewable energy.

 

In China alone, the forecast suggests a potential of about 700 gigawatts of offshore solar—equivalent to India and Japan’s combined electricity generation capacity. As this promising sector gains momentum, we have only begun to scratch the surface of its vast potential.

 

The future of renewable energy could very well lie offshore, where the sun’s rays meet the sea’s expanse.

BlueTechPort: Port of Barcelona and Tech Barcelona Join Forces for Innovation.

Port of Barcelona and Tech Barcelona have opened the doors to BlueTechPort, a new innovation space for companies aiming to drive progress in all sectors related to the blue economy.

 

Located at Pier 01 in Palau de Mar and owned by Tech Barcelona, this place will host businesses and entrepreneurial projects linked to the port, logistics, and blue tourism sectors, as well as more cutting-edge fields such as underwater robotics, artificial intelligence applied to the marine environment, marine biodiversity conservation, and even the development of pharmaceutical components derived from marine products.

 

As emphasized by Port of Barcelona’s President, Lluís Salvadó, during the space’s unveiling, these sectors represent fresh opportunities for the maritime and port ecosystem.

 

Innovation in the Blue Economy

 

As the first of its kind at Port of Barcelona, BlueTechPort represents another step forward in the commitment to drive innovation in the blue economy, as outlined in the approved 2021 Innovation Plan. The objective? To become a more sustainable and competitive port, generating benefits for the logistics and port community, clients, and citizens.

 

Collaborating with Tech Barcelona will enable companies establishing themselves at BlueTechPort to enjoy the benefits offered by startups within the ecosystem. This ecosystem will shape the Blue District, a space designed to foster synergies among various institutions and companies present at Port of Barcelona, while also attracting renowned enterprises and research centers beyond the port area.

 

“In 2013, with the foundation of Tech Barcelona, we pioneered the consolidation and strengthening of Barcelona’s technological and digital ecosystem alongside the city’s most outstanding entrepreneurs. Now, 10 years later, the creation of BlueTechPort in collaboration with Port of Barcelona will allow us to consolidate and develop the blue economy, a strategic sector that will play a fundamental role in the city’s transformation,” declared Miquel Martí, CEO of Tech Barcelona, during the inauguration ceremony.

 

Sustainability as the Goal for BlueTechPort

 

Sustainability is one of the key pillars for companies within Barcelona’s technological and digital ecosystem. Therefore, the collaboration between Port of Barcelona and Tech Barcelona represents a unique opportunity to develop the city’s blue economy and establish the sector as an international benchmark.

 

BlueTechPort is designed to accommodate emerging companies, scale-ups, and innovative projects by established enterprises, benefiting from the support and collaboration of Port of Barcelona to conduct pilot tests or prototype their projects. The port will serve as a testing environment for their ideas and proposals to drive sustainability in the blue economy.

 

Source: Port de Barcelona

The Panama Canal faces a new challenge: The Dry Season

The Panama Canal is taking decisive action in response to the challenging weather conditions affecting water availability in its surrounding lakes. With the looming El Niño phenomenon, the canal is closely monitoring the situation and implementing water conservation measures during the rainy months to replenish vital water reserves.

 

According to the Panama Canal, the economic impact of the water shortage is unavoidable. “We have been prepared for this issue, but the severity and timing of the current water shortage have exceeded our expectations,” commented Ricaurte Vásquez Morales, Canal administrator.

 

How does the dry season affect the canal?

 

Despite implementing water-saving measures during the May to December rainy season, an unprecedented drought has plagued the region, making this year the driest on record since 1950. However, the canal remains committed to ensuring ample water resources for the population and providing reliable and competitive services to customers throughout the dry season.

 

What actions can we take to support the Panama Canal?

 

Collaborating with experts from the United States Corps of Engineers, the Panama Canal is actively studying different scenarios and growth projects as part of the Water Sustainability System. This long-term initiative aims to find sustainable solutions that guarantee water resources for the canal’s operations over the next 50 years.

 

In response to the current drought, the Panama Canal previously announced at the first quarter of the year, a temporary draft level adjustment for Neopanamax vessels. In the dry season, it will offer vessels transiting the interoceanic route a draft of 14.4 meters, which is slightly lower than the maximum allowable draft of 15 meters.

 

As the world’s most renowned shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Panama Canal handles billions of dollars worth of cargo annually. However, the dry season’s arrival poses a serious risk, with water levels dwindling and raising concerns about navigability and trade disruptions.

The Panama Canal remains resilient in the face of adversity, taking proactive measures to overcome the challenges posed by the dry season and ensuring the smooth flow of global trade.

Clean Shipping Act of 2023 Aims to Safeguard the Environment

The US Congress introduced a legislation known as the Clean Shipping Act of 2023, which sets out to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ocean shipping companies operating within the United States. This bill, led by Congressman Robert Garcia and Senator Alex Padilla, aims to address the environmental impact of the shipping industry, protect the health of port communities, and combat climate change.

 

Protecting Our Oceans, Combatting Climate Change

 

Ocean vessels have long been contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 3% of the world’s total annually. But the Clean Shipping Act of 2023 empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and enforce carbon intensity standards for maritime fuel, signaling a new era of environmental responsibility. Therefore, this legislation not only protects our precious oceans but also sparks a race for sustainable innovation.

 

A Call for Forward Thinking and Ambition

 

The bill also acknowledges the urgent need to protect coastal communities and reduce emissions, particularly in California, which has borne the brunt of shipping pollution. According to this note on Port Technology, Senator Padilla remarked “The health of our communities and the health of our planet requires us to be forward thinking and ambitious—we owe it to future generations.” This legislation reflects the collective responsibility to leave a cleaner and healthier world, urging us to think beyond the present and embrace ambitious environmental solutions.

 

Industry Support and Corporate Responsibility

 

The Clean Shipping Act has gained support from various environmental organizations and major players in the shipping industry. Maersk North America, a leading shipping company committed to decarbonizing operations by 2040, expressed its support for the legislation. Lee Kindberg, Head of Environment & Sustainability at Maersk North America, affirmed the company’s commitment to cleaner practices. Such endorsements demonstrate the growing recognition within the industry of the need for sustainable shipping practices and environmental responsibility.

 

Looking Ahead

 

Moreover, the introduction of the Clean Shipping Act of 2023 marks a significant milestone in promoting cleaner and more sustainable shipping practices while safeguarding the well-being of port communities. Also, the bill’s focus on regulating emissions and establishing environmental standards highlights the collective determination to address climate change and protect our oceans.

As discussions and deliberations progress, this legislation could be a model for other nations to go towards a greener and more ecologically balanced future for the shipping industry.

Navigating the Challenges of Seaport Technology Adoption

The maritime industry is evolving rapidly, and seaports worldwide are increasingly leveraging technology to optimize their operations, improve efficiency, and enhance sustainability. However, the adoption of new technologies in seaports comes with its fair share of challenges. From cost considerations to interoperability issues, change management, and cybersecurity concerns, seaports face several hurdles when it comes to implementing technology solutions.

Let’s explore the best practices and lessons learned from successful seaports in navigating these challenges and achieving successful technology adoption in their daily operations.

Conducting Comprehensive Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost is a significant consideration in seaport technology adoption. It is essential to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis before embarking on any technology adoption initiative. This includes evaluating the upfront costs of technology acquisition, installation, and integration, as well as ongoing operational costs, maintenance, and potential return on investment (ROI).

Ensuring Interoperability and Compatibility

Interoperability and compatibility among different technologies and systems are critical for successful technology adoption in seaports. Seaports rely on a wide range of technologies, such as terminal operating systems, cargo tracking systems, security solutions, and communication networks. Check out our Suite AIMS as an example of how you can integrate different systems with each other to operate in a more efficient way.

Managing Change and Stakeholder Engagement

Change management and stakeholder engagement are vital aspects of successful technology adoption in seaports. Technology adoption often involves changes in processes, workflows, and job roles, which can be difficult to assimilate for employees and stakeholders. It’s important to make sure that technology, more than a challenge, is a tool beneficial for everyone.

Prioritizing Cybersecurity

Technology is a wonderful tool, but the more we use it, the more vulnerable we are to cyber attacks. With increasing reliance on technology, seaports are also exposed to cybersecurity risks. Cyber threats can compromise critical systems and data, leading to operational disruptions and financial losses. Seaports, as any other place that works with technology, should prioritize cybersecurity in their technology adoption initiatives by implementing robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encryption, and employee awareness training.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) started 2022 with a plan to establish a maritime cybersecurity roundtable to improve cybersecurity partnerships, access to digital maritime tools and skills, as well as boosting research and development of new maritime technologies. It also contemplated expanding the Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan to allow 3,000 small and medium-sized businesses to apply for co-funding assistance to receive support for adopting digital tools.

There’s plenty of seaports around the world that have implemented new technologies with success, and we can learn from their experiences to find new solutions and overcome challenges. Besides the ports mentioned above, we can also take as an example the Port of Barcelona in Spain, which successfully implemented a digital platform that provides real-time visibility and transparency in port operations, enabling better coordination and resource allocation. Recently, they have increased their computing capacity, faster processing speed, and enhanced security measures for delivering services via PORTIC, the Port of Barcelona’s Port Community System (PCS).

Embracing digital transformation and technology innovation will help you to stay competitive in the global shipping industry. Which of the challenges described above would you address first? Let us know in the comments below.

“New technologies that are transforming the management of container and cargo ports”

Containers and cargo ports are key infrastructures for international trade. The rapid growth of global commerce has led to an increase in the volume of goods moving through these infrastructures, generating the need to improve efficiency and control in their management. But what is currently being done to achieve this? Here is a summary of the most important technologies in port management:

Terminal Operating Systems (TOS). 

These systems allow container port operators to control and supervise port operations, from the arrival and departure of ships to the loading and unloading of containers on land. TOS is a comprehensive solution that provides a complete view of the port and enables operators to make more informed and efficient decisions.

Among the benefits of using TOS are reduced waiting times, improved efficiency in planning container loading and unloading, and increased port capacity. A successful example of TOS implementation is the Port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe. The implementation of TOS in Rotterdam has reduced waiting times for ships and increased port capacity to handle more containers.

Another technology that is increasingly being used in the shipping industry is the Internet of Things (IoT). 

IoT allows port operators and customers to track and monitor the location of goods in real time. This helps improve transparency and visibility in the supply chain, which in turn helps prevent theft and loss of cargo or containers.

In addition, IoT is also used for predictive maintenance. IoT sensors can monitor equipment conditions and detect problems before they become serious faults. This allows port operators to schedule preventive maintenance instead of having to perform expensive repairs on damaged equipment. A successful example of IoT implementation is the Port of Hamburg, where IoT is used to monitor the temperature of perishable goods containers.

Image recognition technology and data analysis This is another technology being used in the shipping industry to improve efficiency in loading and unloading containers. This includes the use of surveillance cameras and image analysis software to monitor container movement and detect problems in real time. For example, the Port of Singapore uses surveillance cameras to monitor container movement and prevent collisions.

Robotics 

The implementation of robotics has also been part of the digital transformation of ports, as robots can assist in loading and unloading containers, reducing the need for labor and increasing efficiency in the loading and unloading process. For example, the Port of Qingdao in China uses robots for container loading and unloading in an automated terminal, which has significantly improved productivity and efficiency.

In conclusion, the adoption of new technologies such as TOS, IoT, image recognition and data analysis, and robotics are allowing container and cargo ports to improve efficiency and control in their management. These technologies enable better supervision of operations, process optimization, reduced waiting times, and prevention of cargo losses, while optimizing resources and increasing net income.

 

Sustainable technology in the maritime sector

The world is transforming, and technology has become a sustainable resource at all levels.

New technological tools have contributed to taking not only the infrastructure, but also the development of optimal environmental solutions to the next level.

We know that maritime transport is considerably one of the most important means of transportation. However, over the years, it has been one of the most polluting.

Despite this, thanks to technological development, it is allowing maritime transport to become more sustainable.

Many corporations over the world are already working on significant contributions to make maritime transport sustainable and minimize environmental impact.

Green energy… 

Renewable energy is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions. Nowadays, wind turbines and solar panels are already being implemented to generate energy. 

Some even use energy storage technology to ensure a constant supply of energy. Technology also allows real-time monitoring of ship emissions, which is why with the management of a monitoring system, important decisions can be made to improve the efficiency of maritime transport. 

Sustainable and efficient design…

Aerodynamic design allows for energy optimization, which is why corporations are working on sustainable designs for ships to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

At the same time, some ships are equipped with hybrid propulsion systems that combine diesel and electric motors to achieve greater energy efficiency.

With this comes the planning of routes and navigation speed if this is achieved travel time is reduced, and fuel is optimized.

If one thing is clear, the fight for a green world is growing, and little by little, technology becomes a sustainable tool to improve CO2 impact on the environment.

 

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