Port of Moerdijk is the fourth largest seaport in the Netherlands. The port ties together different logistics types, serving international sea freight and inland transport. Over twelve million freight tonnages and over ten thousand vessels annually keep the port busy.
About four hundred companies occupy the port area, using the infrastructure for different businesses varying from the chemical industry to logistics. The Port of Moerdijk emphasises the port’s safety and sustainability, which makes maintaining the port’s assets essential.
In 2019, the Port of Moerdijk started using GISGRO online platform for 3D data management. We interviewed three experts, Henk Schakenraad, Infrastructure Manager in Port of Moerdijk, Jolien van Stokkem, Project Manager of Arcadis, and Karri Koistinen, Head of Sales of GISGRO, about experiences of Port of Moerdijk in GISGRO.
We also discussed their thoughts on opportunities to utilise cloud services in port operations and asset management.
Online tools for different sectors of the seaport maintenance
An engineering company Arcadis handles condition inspections of the port, taking care of the underwater asset integrity and providing information on the assets to the port’s stakeholders.
In the Port of Moerdijk, GISGRO is now used in the port’s maintenance planning by the port’s own personnel and Arcadis. Also, the dredging department evaluates the needs for dredging and calculates volumes with GISGRO. Jolien van Stokkem from Arcadis tells her experiences:
“Due to the network of Henk Schakenraad and the port’s vision on predictive maintenance, Port of Moerdijk got recommendations about GISGRO from our port colleagues. It soon proved its value in the maintenance operations of Port of Moerdijk. The fact that we have access to the 3D data and can analyse and use it easily, makes a huge difference. GISGRO is very easy to use, so we didn’t need a lot of training to get hold of it. Still, every time we have questions, GISGRO team is ready to find the answers quickly”.
GISGRO functions as a common database of 3D data for the port and its partners. 3D data gathered from underwater surveys and laser scanning is saved in GISGRO, where everyone involved in asset management can utilise the information.
Screenshots and cross-sections are examples of the information often delivered by van Stokkem to port clients. Port of Moerdijk is also considering the possibility of combining the 3D asset information with the actual maintenance operations and managing everything on one map-based platform.
The benefits of a cloud platform to port’s asset management
You can say that traditional port maintenance, especially underwater, is like firefighting; you need to react to hazards immediately when something happens. With GISGRO, the data needed in maintenance decisions are available quicker than ever. Even when a part of the team works remotely, they can easily access the 3D data at the home office via a web browser.
“GISGRO aids the asset management work tremendously; by seeing and analysing the 3D data, the evaluation of the possible risks to the quays’ safety is easier and it is possible to do predictive maintenance instead of just reacting to incidents and repairing actual damages,” van Stokkem explains the benefits of GISGRO in her work.
What does the future hold for cloud software in ports?
The recent technological developments create opportunities to utilise smart technologies, such as IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence), in asset management and operations. The port industry is one of the trailblazers of this development.
Port of Moerdijk states in their safety vision that digitisation and IoT sensors are important elements in improving safety and sustainability in the port.
IoT data can be integrated into online platforms, such as GISGRO, to be utilised in various ways to develop more efficient and sustainable ways to operate. Team GISGRO’s Karri Koistinen paints a picture of the possibilities to enhance the port’s operations with cloud platforms and smart technologies:
“Saving spatial data of the port, both on map and in 3D, helps in planning of port operations and maintenance. You could say this is the first phase of digitisation. In GISGRO, you can estimate where to allocate different functions to optimise the land use and transport options. The 3D model of the port’s underwater parts and seaways allow the utilisation of clearance depth information in port’s daily traffic operations. The second step of digitisation is combining IoT sensor data to the platform, so it works as a real-time situation map of the port.”
Each port has their unique operational environment, which means factors affecting the operations vary depending on the port. Ports already have a wide knowledge of the local conditions and their effect on asset management and daily operations.
“However, this information is typically divided into multiple databases, making it difficult to gather the needed data for decision making. Basically, easy-to-use tools to make decision don’t exist. By integrating GISGRO online platform with smart sensors and AI, we can assist ports even further in daily operations and asset management. Our mission is to help our clients to achieve the benefits of today’s technology in their business, so we work closely with them in finding out the perfect solutions.”
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