Antwerp Smart port

Port of Antwerp  Smart port

It’s hard to imagine the world without them these days: words such as blockchain, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning have become woven into the warp and weft of our society. In fact, these technologies of the future may also demonstrate their worth in the port. Which is why they are being tested and put to work wherever possible. For example, work is being done on a digital version of the port, complete with real-time information. We are also looking at how containers and their cargoes can be better secured using blockchain technology. And sometimes the answer can be found with a simple 1.0 solution: which is also true of innovation at the Port of Antwerp.

Smart versus high-tech: bolt indicators 

Innovation is about more than just cutting-edge technology. It revolves just as much around finding smart solutions for complex problems. For instance, a great deal of the port infrastructure has to be checked and inspected regularly: are any cracks or fissures occurring? Are all of the components of the bridges and locks still sound and in good working order? Some nuts and bolts can be in hard-to-reach places, too. Which is why it can take such a long time to thoroughly inspect this infrastructure.

Sara Jochems, technical electromechanical manager for the Port of Antwerp, came up with a simple but effective idea: bolt indicators.

“By attaching little plastic tags to the bolts, you can see at a glance whether any nuts or bolts have become loose and whether they need to be tightened or not. This saves the inspectors and engineers a great deal of unnecessary work.”


Containerchain Launches Smart Solution in Antwerp

Containerchain, a provider of cloud-based software solutions, has announced the successful launch of its Depot management solution at Antwerp Container Company’s (ACC) Antwerp facility.

According to a statement by Containerchain, the new service will help ACC transition from manual yard and gate operations to a more automated set of processes. This is expected to drive efficiency, improve service levels, and allow for the expansion of operating hours at the depot. Containerchain’s depot management software handles all aspects of container depot operations, including gate management, inventory management, container survey and repair. Tony Paldano, CEO of Containerchain, commented: “The key to being competitive in this industry is efficiency. Efficiency means more productivity, more profitability, and more opportunity to build the service relationships your business depend on. “ACC is one of a new breed of innovative and agile operators that understand the way digitisation helps keep them agile and efficient.”

Carlo Lambrechts, Founder and Director of ACC, said: “Our approach has always been to provide a high level of service that puts the emphasis on our customers’ needs, and as a result we’ve grown more rapidly than I think either of us expected. “But growth brings challenges, and for us that meant making sure that our operations are streamlined and efficient so we can spend more time keeping our customers happy and less time managing paperwork and trouble-shooting. “Containerchain’s depot management system is designed to help us automate routine processes and ensure we manage our business more effectively, with less effort.”

Following the implementation of Containerchain’s Depot solution, ACC has plans to integrate with the technology provider’s slot-booking system Notifications. Lambrechts stated: “We expect that with Containerchain’s automated slot-booking system for trucks, we’ll reduce congestion at our gate, improve turnaround times, and better manage peak and off-peak visits to the depot.”