The long term objective of the activity is to provide sustainable services based on the use of satellite assets to end users involved in intermodal freight transport through European ports in order to optimize the intermodal transport chain.
The existing high level service concept is of a system integrating existing systems and technologies with space-based assets to provide timely notification of relevant events in the intermodal transport chain, optimization of operations through the use of new technological solutions and through information exchange between the involved actors, and prediction of circumstances (weather and oceanographic forecasts for instance) to support decision and planning processes. These services need to be based on decision and operational support systems, fed with data collected at different scales (e.g. global, regional and local).
The objectives of the EUROPORT demonstration project are:
- To demonstrate to the involved communities the applicability of the concepts and practices defined;
- To disseminate widely good practices and the use of satellite assets and state-of-the-art technologies at national and regional levels;
- To show-case the replicability of the use of the EUROPORT integrated solution in several regions of Europe;
- To prove the economic viability of the EUROPORT integrated solution.
Users and their needs
In summary, the following issues were identified as key issues for the optimization of intermodal operations in ports (considering that port infrastructure remains the same):
Optimise the accuracy of the forecast of arrival (ETA) and departures (ETD) of ships in ports;
Optimise the accuracy of the forecast of arrival and departures times of trucks to/from terminal and port gates;
Improve port gate-in and gate-out operations in order to reduce time consumed by these operations;
Improve the efficiency of pick-up and delivery operations in the yard.
Shipping lines, haulage companies, Ports as main users of EUROPORT service will obtain benefits from it:
- Reducing costs of operation
- Improvement of reliability
- Better confidence on their services for their customers
- Higher net benefits
Service/ system concept
The definition of EUROPORT integrated solution comprises the following three groups of services:
- Service 1 – Haulage Operations: aggregates functionalities which will improve the haulage process by optimizing operations directly affecting or related with port operations. Includes issues like:
Orchestration of “haulage operations”
Real-time monitoring of trucks/trains
Estimation (for trucks/trains) of ETA/ETD at/from ports.
- Service 2 – Ship Voyages Optimization: provides functionalities which will improve the calculation of ship ETA and ETD to/from ports. Includes issues like:
Ship Positioning Tracking
Optimal Ship Route Calculation
Estimation (for ships) of ETA/ETD at/from ports;
- Service 3 – Port Operations: provide functionalities that support the planning and optimization of intermodal transport operations in ports and terminals, such as:
Access to relevant documents
Transport order management;
The EUROPORT project has now finished the trial phase. During the trials, the EUROPORT system also evolved with the PCS installed in the ports and user feedback, being adapted to the new versions of the PCS. Also during the trials the users were heard and the system UI/UX tweaked to have an improved system at the end of the trial. After having collected over 13 months of data the project team has now started the trials analysis.