Skip to main content

Towards a green and sustainable ecosystem for the EU Port of the Future

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PortForward (Towards a green and sustainable ecosystem for the EU Port of the Future)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2020-12-31

The PortForward project is working towards establishing a vision for the Port of the Future and develop necessary technical solutions to implement that vision. A major focus is on leveraging and combining digitalization technologies, such as VR, AR, IoT and cloud computing. The PortForward project especially addresses the needs of small- and medium-sized ports and their associated port communities. Specifically, PortForward addressing the three main strategic objectives of enhancing ports’ operations to become:
• Smarter – through ICT solutions, enhancing the exchange of information
• Interconnected – using of a combination of different modes of transport and the integration of different technologies
• Greener – by adopting green technologies
PortForward brings together 13 European partners to tackle these challenges. On the project’s operational level the consortium is working on the following objectives:
1. Smart logistics platform for ports
2. Remote management and maintenance platform
3. Internet of Things middleware
4. Green scheduler for yard operations
5. Augmented Reality supporting maintenance
6. Virtual Port Tool for VR- and AR-based visualization
7. Supply chain related stakeholder engagement
8. Examine socioeconomic effects of port emissions
9. PortForward Dashboard
10. Validation in Use Cases
WP3 - Within the RP2 the focus has been on smaller works on the IoT Middleware, the redesign of the Virtual Network Operator (VNO). A major task was the setup of the Fraunhofer Cloud Platform to replace the VFK platform and enabling deployment of PortForward Services.
WP4 - The work in WP4 was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways. First of all the Use Case of Port-City Interaction had to be adopted and was changed to a Use Case for COVID-19 related people tracking in indoor environments. The work in all other Use Cases in the WP was restricted due to travel restrictions, as no or only few works could be carried out in the ports (e.g. necessary installations of hardware). Thus, all Use Cases focused on intensive preliminary lab testing to enable quick implementation as soon as travel restrictions are loosened.
WP5 - This WP saw major progress in the development of the Green Yard Scheduler (GYS) with the mathematical models completed and the beta version developed, tested and demonstrated. Furthermore, the environmental impact assessment was updated and further evaluated based on additional historic data of VIGO port.
WP6 - This WP was focusing on the three Use Cases employing the Virtual Twin model, which was developed further to enable processing of dynamic input data. Also referring decision support models were developed. Task T6.3 was implemented as central task for the overall project to document the progress in development and implementation of the individual Use Cases and Services. Concerning the PortForward Dashboard (PFD) a concept was developed with the Dashboard being the central user interface for all PortForward Services - also including the Port Authority Dashboard.
WP7 - Focus of that work package was on the development of the Use Case Evaluation process and a referring Evaluation Tool. The methodology was worked out in coordination with all Use Case owners defining individual evaluation criteria, that will be used in reporting period 3, when the Use Cases and Services are implemented and can be tested.
WP8 - In the early reporting period a Port Survey was carried out in this work package to identify COVID-19 implications and priority shifts among the port partners. One result was the adaption of the Port-City Interaction Use Case at PDB (see WP4). Concerning the valorization of the project results, the market of innovative port solutions was analyzed and the PortForward Services were categorized referringly. The categorization identified a modular approach.
WP9 - The work in this work package was directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as dissemination activities and interaction possibilities with the port community had to be mostly completely shifted to online formats. Events planned by the consortium had to be replanned for alternative online formats. One central element of the project dissemination was the production of several project videos to boost the online dissemination of project contents.
WP10 - For the project management there have been two general Project Management Meetings in M19 and M29. Furthermore several Work Package Leaders Meeting were organized to constantly monitor the progress of the project. As a specific tool for monitoring of progress for the development and implementation of the individual Use Cases WP10 is supported by the continuous documentation in T6.3. This documentation also supports the Risk Management by identifying delays in the Use Cases. Referringly the Risk Log was updated at the end of the reporting period.
PortForward aims to address the 10 aforementioned objectives comprehensively and holistically through advancing digitalization in small and medium sized ports.
PortForward project addresses the following innovation spheres:
Innovation 1: IoT-enabled port
PortForward will overcome the current IoT fragmentation by taking a holistic view, encompassing devices, IoT communication infrastructure and back-end platforms. By leveraging and extending open standards and data models, a streamlined solution for the roll-out of both IoT devices as well as novel LPWAN communication infrastructure will be designed in order to speed-up deployment, reduce integration effort and improve manageability.
Innovation 2: Green scheduling in ports
The Green Scheduling includes a new multi-objective model and efficient and robust intelligent search technique, which is able to quickly find good-enough approximations of Pareto frontiers among the conflicting objectives including cost- and service-oriented KPIs, and environmental sustainability measures such as fuel emissions, energy consumption, and peak power demand. It will support informed decision making with a focus on environmental sustainability of yard operations.
Innovation 3: Stowage optimization
PortForward will explore new concepts for cargo traceability, trying to reach higher levels of automation when tracking cargo, thus helping to reduce the costs of the whole process. PortForward will go beyond current most widespread technologies and exploit the support from other complementary technologies in order to reach the maximum level of automated traceability at the optimal technology costs.
Innovation 4: Digital twin and decision support
Static solutions as a starting point will be further developed to dynamic solutions applicable in dynamic port environments. The novel interface with the IoT middleware will provide a new dimension of data processing and visualization to IoT applications. The IoT-enabled Virtual Port Tool and Decision Support System will enable new functionalities for process monitoring and control and the support of VR- and AR-based assistance solutions for operators.
In the second reporting period (M19-M30) the services and use cases in the project were further developed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications most of the implementation work for the use cases in the ports could not be carried out yet. Thus, there are general delays in the use case implementations, tests and evaluation. It is likely, that the project will need a project extension.
PortForward Generic Architecture