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Data-driven port sustainability
04 Jul 2022

Why port sustainability begins with data – Ship Management International

Fundamentally, the decarbonisation of the shipping industry relies on data. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector, the focus should be not only on ships, but also on ports, which play a key role at the beginning and end of every journey.

The importance of the shipping sector in helping the world achieve fulfil its decarbonisation targets was reaffirmed at the most recent United Nations climate change conference (COP26). The Clydebank Declaration for Green Shipping Corridors, signed by over 20 nations, including Australia, Japan, the UK, and the US, was one of the conference’s major maritime outcomes. In it, signatories committed to creating zero-emission shipping corridors within the next ten years between specific port hubs.

To achieve this goal, a system of efficient, environmentally friendly ports is necessary to support clean shipping, providing the infrastructure and services needed by the low-carbon ships of the future. Although ports are frequently disregarded, they are responsible for reducing their own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and helping visiting ships reduce theirs in the crucial “first and final mile” of their voyage.

The first step to achieve this should be to take advantage of data-driven optimisation solutions. By using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the allocation of port resources such as tugs, pilots, trucks and service boats, we can ensure that these resources are utilised efficiently and organised in such a way to avoid unnecessary journeys. This is necessary to optimise all port resources, which has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and emissions from marine service fleets by an average of 20%.

The deployment of digital solutions in ports will equip them to handle last-minute requests and reallocate resources instantly if ETAs change. This is a key step to ensure people and assets are in the right place at the right time, to welcome ships when they arrive – which is key to cut idle time (and emissions) from visiting ships.

Read the full article in Ship Management International.