The terminal landscape is rapidly transforming with increased automation and technological innovation improving productivity through innovative IT and efficient transportation systems.
As ports around the world are modernising to turn into smart facilities, both the Port Authority and Contship have pulled all the stops to upgrade the port of La Spezia into a state-of-the art gateway. La Spezia Port Authority invested heavily in innovation including the development of an ICT platform where external systems, both national and port systems, are being connected. The Port Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea (Ports of La Spezia and Carrara), signed an agreement with UIRNet, the implementing body of the Italian Ministry of Transportation, and Logistica Digitale, to join the Italian National Logistics Platform (PLN) project.
La Spezia Port Authority, as part of the URSA Major Neo EU Project, also embarked on the implementation of an intelligent parking system that is fully integrated with the Port Community System to reduce waiting time and congestion at the port gate entrance.
Contship has been heavily investing in information and communication technologies in container terminal operations since 1971, being the first private and independent terminal operator. It recently introduced the world’s first machine learning algorithm to optimise wireless data connectivity at its La Spezia Container Terminal (LSCT). LSCT is amongst the first container terminals in the world to adopt a kind of artificial intelligence (algorithm) to increase the performance of its wireless operational technology (OT) network, improving the efficiency of yard operations.
Terminal Operating Systems (TOS) require reliable and consistently performing networks to support seamless operations through real time data processing. The WiFi network plays a crucial role, particularly when organising internal flows and stacking areas that dynamically change continuously. This is especially true for a terminal like LSCT, where its compact and evolving layout challenges the propagation of wireless networks and consequently the connectivity of internal equipment.
To improve WiFi coverage Contship has upgraded LSCT by deploying Fluidmesh MPLS technology, which leads to better TOS connectivity. Fluidmesh works in parallel with the existing Wi-Fi system, thus all equipment such as RTGs, reach stackers and terminal tractors benefit from low-latency connectivity with constant and consistent network access within the entire terminal.
This has allowed LSCT to radically reduce the operational down-times – but more importantly, to meet today’s growing need of integrating sustainability and efficiency practices to minimise the environmental impact of its operations. LSCT aims to address environmental challenges without compromising on economic performance through optimisation of operations using innovation and research. Read more about LSCT’s sustainability efforts in Contship Italia’s Sustainability Report 2018’.
If you ask what the future holds for ports and terminals, the answer is clear: evolution of ports and terminals will continue – at a pace faster than ever, with innovation driving this change. However, Contship’s aim to spearhead this development won’t change a bit.
This article is part of CS WINdow, Contship Italia Group's quarterly newsletter, featuring insights on the global supply chain, with a focus on European intermodal logistics. You can subscribe to learn more: