A new Internet of Things (IoT) platform has been developed for the Port of Rotterdam Authority, and the first application for hydro/meteo conditions has now been put into operation. The system uses an extensive network of sensors to provide accurate and up-to-date water and weather data for the planning and management of shipping.
The delivered hydro/meteo system obtains height of tide, tidal stream, salinity, wind speed, wind direction and visibility data via a combination of 44 sensors in the port, many prediction models, data from Rijkswaterstaat and astronomical calculations. This enables the application to contribute to reductions of waiting times and optimization of berthing, loading/unloading and departure times. The technology allows, for example, to more precisely predict the best time to berth and depart, depending on water conditions, while guaranteeing maximum loads.
Initial users of the hydro/meteo system include the Pilotage Service, Rijkswaterstaat, DCMR and various departments within the Port Authority. The use of global and open standards means that it has never been easier for external parties to connect with this real-time data, says the Port. Each day, the platform is already processing some 1.2 million data points for models, systems and users.
The construction of the cloud-based IoT platform was announced a year ago by the collaborating partners IBM, Cisco, Esri and Axians.
The Port says that the generic building blocks that have been implemented offer the Port of Rotterdam a safe and reliable basis for rapid innovation with access to the latest technologies, including edge computing, real-time analytics, artificial intelligence, hyper-precise data and blockchain.
The port is already increasing digitalization of its infrastructure. For instance, sensors incorporated on and in quay walls, dolphins, waterways, roads and traffic signs generate continued measurement data, and these can communicate with other autonomous systems. This lays the foundation to facilitate autonomous shipping in the Port of Rotterdam in the future.