How Digitalization can save our Port

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Recently , The executive secretary/ Chief executive officer Nigeria shippers’ Council Bar. Hassan Bello noted that the in order to lip frog efficiency at the port Digitalisation is the the way to go.

Digitalization and digital business are inevitably shifting operational and management focus of organizations towards being business ecosystems. Digital business is gaining momentum in all commercial sectors – and maritime transportation cannot be immune to these changes – indeed the changes are happening already.

Digitalisation holds great potential for making maritime transport chains more efficient, flexible and agile. It thus opens up the possibility for Nigeria ports to meet the challenges of globalisation, demographic change and urbanisation.

The digitisation initiatives either concern the better control and management of the port and port infrastructure (our core tasks) or the initiative revolves around improved insight into or efficiency of logistics processes.

Furthermore, With the help of digital solutions, the efficiency of the operation of a single port and its specific transport chains can already be increased, complex processes simplified or energy consumption reduced. In the international environment of the maritime economy, digital networking of seaports offers additional opportunities to improve efficiency and safety along the entire maritime transport chain. Through the targeted exchange of information and data, ports can develop and use new business models.

Container traffic mostly follows a predefined pattern of scheduled and recurrent visits. Container traffic is arranged as a liner service (like a bus service) where different stakeholders plan their operations in relation to a fixed and repeating schedule. This schedule may be revised at intervals or be seasonal. This follows a similar concept to passenger traffic in aviation – with a predictable and fixed schedule and travel plan covering the present and the medium-term future.

This means that the port call actors can expect that a ship (or ships from a shipping company) will arrive at particular time intervals and can prepare for that accordingly. In reality though, maintaining punctual ship arrivals in accordance with the pre-set schedule is sometimes hard to achieve, not because the ships have challenges in making the sea passage, but from delays in upstream ports making it hard or impossible for the ship to make its next port call on time.

This is especially the case in short sea shipping arrivals or when ships require repositioning in a port after cargo operations in one terminal prior to further work in another.

Global maritime play like Chinese are also pushing automation and digitalization ports. One example is the world’s biggest automated container terminal, the Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port. Another example is Ningbo, which is upgrading its hardware and aiming at achieving a semi-automated yard.

As Nigeria port moves toward digitalization, The real value-add of digitalization will be unlocked if stakeholders cooperate and integrate along the supply chain. That means the island initiatives need to be sensibly integrated to optimize the supply chain as a whole.

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