Hyper-Smart Container Sets Sail

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 24, 2019

Pic: Port of Rotterdam

Pic: Port of Rotterdam

Dutch Port of Rotterdam has sent the hyper-smart Container 42 on a two-year data-collecting mission around the world.

During this journey, the container – which houses an array of sensors and communications equipment – will be measuring changes in parameters like vibration, slope, position, sound, local air pollution, humidity and temperature.

The unit has also been fitted with solar panels, which can be used to determine how much power a container can generate during a given journey by ship, train or truck. The container will be making its first stop in early June, in Munich, Germany. Here it will be presented to the public during the trade event Transport Logistic 2019 (TLM).

Rotterdam has the ambition to be the world’s ‘smartest port’ – which is why it has taken the lead in the digital transformation of port and logistics activities. And Container 42 serves as a metaphor for this transformation. What kinds of things does a container shipment go through when it is shipped by sea or overland? It’s all recorded by Container 42.

The collected data provides insight into the challenges faced during transport and logistics and contributes to the development of a so-called ‘digital twin’ for the port: a digital representation of the actual, physical port area.

The foundations for the project are formed by the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s existing Internet of Things (IoT) platform. The Port Authority uses this cloud-based platform to collect and process data coming in from sensors installed throughout the port area.

This provides users with real-time information about the local infrastructure, water and air quality, among other things – allowing the port of Rotterdam to further improve its provision of services. The digitalisation of Rotterdam’s port services will contribute to the even safer, swifter and more reliable forwarding of cargo. At some point in the future, it will also enable Rotterdam to accommodate autonomous shipping in its port area.

Before Container 42 embarks on its 2-year journey, it will first be introduced to the world during Transport Logistic 2019 in Munich, one of the best-known international events for the Logistics and Transport sectors. From 4 to 7 June, Container 42 can be admired near the eastern entrance to the fair hall. Experts from the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the participating partners will be standing by to inform attendees more about the latest innovations in the field of digitalisation.

Container 42 is a platform for intensive collaboration between the following parties: Port of Rotterdam Authority, IBM, Cisco, Esri, Axians, Intel, HyET Solar, Van Donge & de Roo, Awake.ai, Betta Batteries, Simwave, Advanced Mobility Services, Kalmar and Shipping Technology.

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