Traffic management tools discussed during BPO’s Digital Working Group meeting

Sep 21 2021

Traffic management tools discussed during BPO’s Digital Working Group meeting

The Baltic Ports Organization’s (BPO) Digitalization Working Group met online last week. The gathering featured a presentation of the Port Activity App, as well as other projects related to sea traffic management. Participants also had the chance to discuss the findings of the “Digitalization in Baltic sea ports” report.

It was the second meeting of BPO’s latest working group, established earlier this year as an answer to the need for exchange of knowledge and experience accumulated by the ports in the Baltic Sea region, related to the implementation and development of digital solutions. Solutions related to the concept of sea traffic management took the spotlight during last week’s meeting.

Port Activity App
The mobile app, implemented last year in the Swedish Port of Gävle, is an information sharing tool, which provides the same data to all involved parties prior and during a port call. It is an open source, scalable and cost-effective solution, developed specifically with ports in mind. The app has been developed as part of the Swedish Maritime Administration’s EfficientFlow project, which is co-funded by the EU.

By communicating arrivals and departures for ships, the app enables port operators’ to increase efficiency within the whole call process. It also reduces the environmental impact, an increasingly important aspect in this time and age, due to the benefit of a better optimized, customized schedule.

The app also functions as an inter-organizational cooperation platform. Traffic info for port calls is shared between all actors and makes use of estimated and actual timestamps (ET/AT), providing real-time information and calculated ET’s. Data sources include the maritime single window (MSW), pilot systems, automatic information systems (AIS), manual input and more, making the tool a true port single showroom.

The meeting also featured a brief showcase of a number of other projects presented by the representatives of Sea Traffic Management (STM). These included:
• STM BALT SAFE, developed with the navigation safety of tanker vessels in the Baltic
• Real Time Ferries (RTF), connecting ferry-lines in the Baltic Sea region (BSR) to hinterland transport, integrating ship voyages into the transport chain
• Linking Sea and Land (LISA), a BSR flagship process, aiming to facilitate innovative technologies in the region in order to promote sustainability and efficiency of its transport system

More information about the projects can be found on STM’s website.

Digitalization in Baltic sea ports

The gathering also saw a short overview of the preliminary findings of the “Digitalization in Baltic sea ports” report, prepared as part of the Connect 2 Small Ports (C2SP) projects. Key take-aways from the report are the fact, that the digitalization strategies of many ports are still in their respective development or implementation phases. This is also true for the implementation status of ports’ R&D cooperation initiatives.

The overall trend is that ports are steering increasingly more funds towards projects related to the digitalization process. Compatibility of the port operations systems in the BSR, as well as their IT security levels, are evaluated at a good level. The region’s overall response to the process stays in line with the approached by which the BSR is characterized when it comes to new challenges and opportunities.

BPO’s new working group will continue to monitor the latest developments linked to the digitalization of the maritime sector and strive to foster communication by providing its Members and other stakeholders a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience.