The Port of Antwerp is taking a step further towards a digital future with a series of innovations that will make its 9m teu Deurganck dock more efficient. The “smart quay” and various other innovations such as an automatic sounding boat will make shipping operations and berth maintenance at the Port of Antwerp’s largest dock much more efficient.

“The smart quay will enable us to make more efficient use of the berths available in the dock. And the automatic sounding boat will also make berth management more effective and pro-active, with the emphasis on prevention rather than cure,” explained Piet Opstaele, Innovation Enablement Manager for the port authority.

These are the first steps as the Port of Antwerp lays the foundations for the “smart harbour”, the port of the future where smart technologies are used to make both land-side and water-side operations more efficient. “The smart harbour in turn forms part of the ’Capital of Things’ that was rolled out last year by the City of Antwerp in collaboration with the Port Authority, the University of Antwerp and the innovation specialist imec.

This took our ambitions to a whole new level, with the first practical initiatives coming on line just a few months after signature of the agreement,” Opstaele continued. Cameras and sensors are being put on the quay to monitor whether ships are berthed correctly as they come alongside so that they do not overlap into adjoining spaces.

A section of quay on the North-West side of the Deurganck dock has initially been fitted with these devices. The pilot project will run for six months and will cover barges as well as seagoing ships. Read more from…

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