In the era of global networking, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) consistently pursues the digitisation strategy for the Port of Hamburg. As host of the IAPH World Ports Conference in 2015, the HPA has implemented numerous innovative pilot projects as part of the SmartPORT concept. Based on these experiences, the thought of the future-oriented, intelligent port is further developed and an international network between ports called “ChainPORT” is initiated. The global platform shall connect important information of the respective partner ports on the one hand and create a basis that allows the joined development of new, future-oriented and innovative solutions on the other. In addition to the Port of Hamburg, the Ports of Busan, Singapore, Shenzhen, Los Angeles, Felixstowe and Antwerpen are the partners in the future-oriented network. Senator Frank Horch: “The enormous increase of the international division of labour as well as the rapid growth of the global economy heavily depend on the international maritime transport. The world is getting smaller and it shows in world trade. It has never been more important to learn from one another. Even if we are competitors and rivals, we are dependent on exchanging information.” Adds Jens Meier, Chairman of the Management Board HPA: “This is a great day. With today’s event we are able to lay the foundation to further improve our network and to learn from each other so that we can create innovative ideas and solutions that provide added value to the global flow of goods and the ports.”
With ChainPORT, the HPA wants to go beyond the traditional bilateral port partnerships. In order to face the changing competitive challenges, a small group of selected, leading ports is supposed to take on subject areas and develop innovations together. The idea is to establish a global chain of smartPORTS, the so-called ChainPORTS. The objective is to bring together the port managements and their stakeholders to share benchmarks and develop strategies together on how ports can and must work together in the future to reach common goals such as the globally necessary efficiency. The shared use of intelligent systems and data with other ports ensures sustainable growth.
In addition to digitalisation and networking, the handling of the increasing container ship growth will be another important topic that presents a challenge to all ports.
A joined discussion and positioning in terms of advantages and disadvantages of the increasing vessel sizes is necessary. In the future, networking and data exchange should and must enable an even better planning of port calls.
An additional area for exchange and cooperation are environmental topics. Joined standards and the exchange of knowledge, i.e. regarding the reduction of emissions and other approaches towards greater sustainability, could be advanced further with the partners.
Considering that the first full container ship left New York for Europe in April 1966, thus starting the era of containerisation, the time has come to look back on 50 years of globalisation and use the impulses drawn for shaping the future. Standardisation and rationalisation of transports by means of containers were decisive prerequisite for globalisation.