Ports operate their business at the interface between the ocean transport and the inland transport. Inland transport can be organized via rail, road or indeed barge connections. Ports and terminals have quite sophisticated systems for managing the operations in the port (terminals operations, vessel planning, vessel operations, vehicle booking); Electronic data interaction with customers (pre announcement at port, in/out gate moves, on/off vessel moves, vehicle booking system and vessel manifest information); and management of cargo clearance from the port (customs, port health, payments etc). Nevertheless, ports in general do not have a wider view of the impact of the constraints outside of the port on the optimization of movements through the port, for instance related to delays in traffic, weather, or other logistics or operational issues. If the port and its customers were able to better share information relating to constraints outside of the port this may in turn lead to savings and benefits for all parties in relation to better optimization of movements through the ports.
The objective of the demonstration project I-PORT II is to take the work completed in the preceding feasibility study I-PORT I that examined the optimisation of intermodal freight transport through European ports, and construct a pre-operational system for end users from the logistics community. The optimisation is realised by providing more visibility to the different actors involved in freight transport by satellite-based services. As an example, users have identified a need for accurate ETA (estimated time of arrival) calculations of vessels approaching a port. This will be provided using satellite AIS data which will improve the vessel fleet visibility and facilitate respective estimations.
The port typically provides the requisite facilities and resources for handling the loading/unloading of the container vessels when in port. To optimise management of port terminal resources, more and more ports use Vehicle Booking Systems (VBS) for vehicle slot booking of trucks. To ensure that valuable booked slots are not wasted when the trucks are delayed, it is critical that the service can link the ETA information for trucks to the booked time at the port for that truck. In addition, it is important that the existing bookings can be dynamically altered with minimum manual input. The Dynamic Vehicle Booking system service allows the enhancement of existing VBS by establishing the truck’s ETA by using GPS and later Galileo information. From the ETA, I-PORT II can detect whether a specific truck will be delayed and know that the booked slot will be missed. The slot can then be made available again and rebooked. The system is developed in close cooperation with dbh Logistics IT AG, who operate the Port Community Systems in the ports of Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven.
The project I-PORT II is co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) in the ARTES 20 Integrated Promotion Programme. The objectives of this programme are the promotion of space applications to a wider range of users, especially those who are not aware of the benefits that space technologies can bring to them, the development of new operational services for these users, and a better exploitation of existing space capacity and know-how.