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Digital boost to the port

Port of HaminaKotka Main image Digiport

The Port of HaminaKotka is involved in a project that seeks new business opportunities and efficiency to the port. This takes place by utilising digital tools and open information.

“Everything is becoming digital nowadays, and the port cannot remain floating on pen and paper,” is how Markku Koskinen, Director of Traffic Operations of the Port of HaminaKotka, describes the situation.

Of course, the port is not “floating on pen and paper” even now. There is a vast amount of information about the port and its functions, but, according to Markku Koskinen, the problem is that the information is scattered.

The project is headed by Project Researcher Janne Saarikoski. He says that the objective of the project is to create a one-stop service window through small steps. The core information on the port infrastructure will be co-ordinated with the open data held by the Finnish Transport Agency. In the future, a shipping company could for example see directly on the Internet to which terminal and to which quay a ship of a certain size could go.

The construction of the upcoming models is work reaching about ten years into the future. There have been earlier attempts to increase digitalisation in port operations, but these have not really materialised. For example, the Mobileport project looked for solutions to the customer’s cargo management operations, but the time was not right back then, says Markku Koskinen.

Markku Koskinen is very pleased that the Digiport project is now in progress. He thinks that the companies operating at the port may be a bit shy about information related to port operations.

“They may feel that the information is not public, even if it is. There are still many fears about data security.”

Markku Koskinen says that the port is living firmly in this time, but at the same time the logistics industry still has a burden of traditions. There is a bridge to gap between the Finnish labour-intensive port work and an approach that improves performance and fluency by utilising digital technology.

A pilot product will be built of the model to be developed at the Port of HaminaKotka, the biggest port in Finland. Later on, the model can be sold to other ports in Finland.

The project will include training sessions and workshops in the utilisation of open information. There will also be a Hack the Port event, which aims to find new solutions and services to be applied within the port industry. A server for open data and a data list will be created for the target ports for making the data available.

The two-year project launched at the beginning of October is administered by the Kotka Maritime Research Centre, and the other executing parties are the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Xamk, the Centre for Maritime Studies MKK of the University of Turku and the Finnish Information Society Development Centre TIEKE. The other funding parties are the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Port of HaminaKotka and the Port of Turku.

The budget of the project is 366,000 euros.

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