A picture is worth a thousand words – How to improve communications in a port?

Communication. This is the heel of Achilles in many organisations, regardless of the size of the organisation or the industry they do business in.

The common question is how to exchange information effectively with all parties needed and how to ensure no communication errors affect the work’s quality.

In ports, the personnel comes from different backgrounds, but all the teams need to work seamlessly together. The difference in education and daily tasks of personnel can influence their prioritisation, from which angle they look at different situations.

Also, work in a port is highly time-sensitive: when a vessel arrives, everything needs to be done efficiently, from berthing to loading and departure. This means there is no time to waste with unfinished repair work or trying to find information on the needed port services.

We believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, and hence GISGRO has a highly visual interface with multiple opportunities to emphasise the message via different visualisation tools.

The most important thing is to get all the information in one place and accessible for everyone needed. In this article, we go through a few concrete examples of how you could improve communications with an online platform in your port.


Visualise the situation map easily

Often the staff in the field gather loads of information on assets’ condition and possibly needed repairs along with their daily tasks. This information needs to be saved easily to be included in the maintenance planning. If adding information to the port’s asset management platform is not easy, the probability of the task being done decreases.

Ports also have many recurring maintenance procedures that need to be monitored to ensure marine traffic safety. Keeping all stakeholders informed about the status of the maintenance tasks requires efficient communication.

When all this information is gathered in one place, you can see the complete situation with one look. Where are the needed repairs located, where are the operations going, and what is a good place to start the repair tasks at this moment?

Efficient maintenance planning is possible only with the appropriate information, as you don’t need to guess the difficulty or time needed on repair work or which berths are in use at a certain time.


“In our weekly meetings with the staff, it is handy to check the situation of the maintenance tasks from GISGRO, show added pictures to clarify the needed repairs, and discuss about the next steps.”

Sanni Leino, Traffic Manager, Port of Uusikaupunki


Highlight the important aspects

Some assets of a port are critical to marine traffic, making the response time for repairs naturally shorter.

Predictive maintenance saves money, as you don’t need to hassle with urgent repairs, and the assets stay in shape by planning the maintenance interval according to the information gathered on the condition.

Visualised asset information is easy to understand so everyone involved in maintenance decisions can easily verify the situation and decide on the needed maintenance operations.

You can point out the important things with markers and assign a maintenance task to a certain person. Or send a PDF map of the planned area to be dredged conveniently with a few clicks. With GISGRO in use, maintenance management has never been easier.


“GISGRO allows our asset management department to visualise one of our most important assets that are hidden from the unaided eye. This helps us assessing the condition of these assets in a fast and accessible manner, which results in an optimal support to our day-to-day asset management processes and the digitisation of it.”

Karel Saey, Asset Manager, North Sea Port.


The plans need to be shared to be put into practice

The ports operate in an international and competitive environment; hence they need to develop their service and infrastructure constantly to keep up with the competition.

Development of the port infrastructure involves many different stakeholders, and it is critical to consider all aspects which could be affected by the construction, already in the planning phase. Sharing the plans is much easier when you have all the information in one place.


“The digital twin of the port helps enormously in planning. As an example, when planning a location for a new storage building, we used to confirm the measurements in different drawings and plans by actually going to the area. Now we can do the measurements in the office with GISGRO’s tools, being also able to pay attention to the transportation routes or location of the gates, for example.”

Johanna Heinoja, Technical Manager, Port of Pietarsaari


Port of Pietarsaari aerial image

The port’s digital twin may not be accessible to everyone in the project, so we developed a handy tool for printing out PDF maps of the plans from GISGRO.

Sharing the map, including all the current assets and plans for the new construction, explains your project perfectly. You don’t need to use any tricky GIS software to visualise the location of a new storage area. Just use GISGRO.

Efficient communication is the key to success in any business, but it is even more important in ports’ operations. After all, the core function of a port is to keep the logistics going smoothly and without interruptions.

This article aimed to present different situations where visual explanation can considerably ease communications. Can you figure out more similar situations in your port where a picture could tell more than a thousand words?



Want to know how GISGRO can help your port’s communication?

Book an online demo meeting with our expert to discuss more GISGRO benefits for your port.

Ville Mäkeläinen
+358 44 513 2222


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