Digitisation: EU project develops Big Data platform for seaports

DataPorts is intended to create the basis for data-driven AI applications.

To enable seaports to better exploit their data treasures in the future and, for example, to advance the automation of their terminals with the help of artificial intelligence, the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), the Ruhr Institute for Software Technology in Paluno and other European partners are currently working on the development of a big data platform within the framework of the EU-funded ” DataPorts” project. As the UDE announced in a press release, the platform is intended to provide a trustworthy and secure environment in which all players in the port can share and exchange data. DataPorts thus creates the basis for a wide range of data-driven AI applications – for example, for autonomous robots that perform heavy and dangerous tasks in the terminals. But new business models are also conceivable if the ports can make better use of their data.

Potential is not properly exploited
According to the UDE, most seaports are still a long way from this. In less than three per cent of the world’s terminals, loading and unloading are automatic, because the ports cannot yet use the potential of their data properly for AI. Although an enormous amount of data is produced, it can only be brought together with great organisational and technical effort.
According to the press release, the implementation will be demonstrated and tested at the ports of Valencia and Thessaloniki. One application is the precise prediction of when a deep-sea container will be at a certain point in the logistics process, for example, during customs clearance. This allows the logistics chain to be better planned, which in turn allows possible delays to be dealt with in advance.
According to the UDE, DataPorts is funded by the EU with 5.7 million euros through the Horizon 2020 programme. 425,000 euros will go to the university in the Ruhr area. The overall management of the project lies with the University of Valencia.

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