Port Sustainability
25 Jul 2023

AI-powered port sustainability

Innovez One founder and CEO David Yeo explains that digitalisation will be the foundation of the greener ports of the future, enabling greater sustainability across supply chains.

The maritime sector as a whole is facing growing market and regulatory pressure to decarbonise, and ports will have a key role to play in making green shipping a reality. Not only can ports reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their own operations, but they will also be central to enabling vessels to achieve net-zero operations, and supporting new supply chains emerging for low- and zero-carbon fuels.

But where to start? By building a strong digital foundation. Comprehensive data and automated processes will be essential to make operations smarter on a day-to-day basis. It will also assist ports with the pivotal strategic decisions they must take to achieve sustainability and decarbonisation.

Reducing GHG emissions

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help ports slash their own carbon footprint, while also helping visiting ships reduce their GHG emissions in the critical “first and last mile” of their journey at sea. This is because reducing vessel wait times – as well as the amount of carbon emitted by the ports’ own fleets of tug and pilotage boats – requires organising them in the most efficient way possible.

In practice, AI-powered algorithms can optimise port, tug and pilotage operations, solving complex puzzles and calculating optimal resource allocation – considering additional constraints such as the need to assign pilots to specific vessel types and sizes depending on their licence, the types and number of tugboats required for each job, and the shuttles needed to take the pilots to the correct boarding grounds. Using machine learning, algorithms can identify patterns and trends, allowing the technology to predict future resource requirements. These capabilities can result in improved operational efficiency, reduced environmental impact, and better overall performance.

Tackling port congestion

One of the key benefits of AI and data-driven insights in port management is the ability to mitigate congestion. By using real-time data and analytics, ports can effectively manage vessel movements, optimise berthing schedules, and logistics. This not only minimises waiting times and improves turnaround efficiency but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with congestion.

Strategic decision-making

Finally, digitalisation and analytics can provide ports with vital insights for strategic decisions that will shape their decarbonised future. By having access to accurate data, port operators can make informed decisions, identify trends, and capitalise on opportunities that will arise from the green economy. This helps them stay ahead in a fast-evolving industry and adapt to changing market demands. Therefore, ports’ digital transformation will contribute to the larger goal of achieving sustainable maritime transportation.

To learn more about the potential of AI-driven technology to help achieve more sustainable and efficient port operations, read David’s article in Riviera Maritime Media: https://www.rivieramm.com/opinion/smart-green-ports-are-enablers-of-decarbonisation-74457