Port efficiency is important for trade facilitation because ports are the main entry and exit points for international trade, in volume terms, nearly 80 percent of world merchandise transits by sea. For many developing countries, this figure surpasses 90 percent. Port efficiency therefore has a direct impact on the ability of a country to participate in international trade. It follows that ports serving developing countries must operate efficiently for them to integrate into the world economy effectively. 1

Ports operations are complex comprising of multiple stakeholders throughout the value chain working together to maximize efficiencies. Port authorities are increasingly taking a more active role in optimizing operations at the port by reassessing the key choke points and challenges that need to be addressed.

  • Multiple manufacturers and vendors = multiple solutions and siloed data.
  • Limited visibility hinders effective equipment maintenance and capital utilization.
  • Limited collaboration leads to idle assets, delayed cargoes and congestion.
  • Limited opportunity to derive cross-terminal data insights results in bottlenecks—a key cause of soaring costs.

Enter connected ports

The connected ports solution harnesses the IoT to give port operators an end-to-end view, right across the terminal. It analyses, in granular detail, the condition of each piece of port equipment, continuously and in real time. Integrated sensors enable connectivity between data “islands”, delivering an individualized view of cross-terminal maintenance practices. Live, web-based dashboards displayed on smart phones or tablets enable terminal operations personnel to respond more swiftly to anomalies and breakdowns. Worker productivity is enhanced, while predictive maintenance capabilities allow port owners to improve equipment utilization and minimize unnecessary downtime.

Connected ports aims to improve the efficiency of port operations and asset utilization by capturing and consolidating Operation Technology (OT) data and applying analytics, machine learning and alerts to derive real-time insights from it.

Connected ports: Dynamic planning to accelerate the New

The Accenture Connected Ports solution applies the silo-busting power of the IoT to digitize processes and link hardware across multiple systems, hugely enhancing the visibility of port operations and enabling the dynamic planning that drives new value. Port operators can limit equipment failures, optimize asset use, reduce congestion and mitigate many of the additional inefficiencies that currently complicate their lives. Thanks to its data-driven and platform-based technologies, Connected Ports catalyses a transformation that positions port operators, their partners and their customers for success in the digital age.

The dynamic planning can also drive significant new value.


Increase in TEU moves.

Understand operations and gain in container movement efficiency

Decrease in equipment downtime.

Reduce unexpected halt to operations by detecting potential issues early on

Decrease in equipment secondary failure.

Reduce equipment secondary failure through early detection and condition-based maintenance

Decrease in vessel waiting time.

By enabling vessels to spend less time in the port, port operators can benefit from additional capacity

Increase in gross moves per hour (GMPH).

Increase GMPH through effective planning of the berthing space, status of equipment and weather conditions

Increase in operational efficiency.

Improve operational efficiency by integrating PLC and sensor data to reduce equipment idle time and energy usage

Increase in inventory optimization.

Combine weight/height detection sensors with forecast based analytics to set-up condition based automatic spare part ordering

Increase in workforce efficiency.

Improve productivity through the dynamic reallocation of work orders through location-based analytics

View All

Bringing connected ports to the industry

Connected ports aims to improve the efficiency of port operations and asset utilization by capturing and consolidating Operation Technology (OT) data and applying analytics, machine learning and alerts to derive real-time insights from it. In addition to accelerating responses to equipment failures, reducing machine downtime and boosting shift yields, the solution enables the dynamic planning that’s key to better port performance.

Thanks to its data-driven and platform-based technologies, Connected Ports catalyses a transformation that positions port operators, their partners and their customers for success in the digital age.

The power of predictive maintenance

Empowering terminal operations personnel with the power of predictive maintenance is a core strength. Consider, for example, the case of a maintenance supervisor tasked with maximizing the utilization of the equipment he or she oversees. By logging into the connected ports dashboard at the start of the working day, they can swiftly identify the berth with the lowest productivity and the quay cranes at issue. They can also access a detailed historical analysis of the factors responsible for the problem—and raise appropriate maintenance work requests, not only for these particular quay cranes, but also for others whose condition could result in similar difficulties in the future.

What’s next

Connected machines, manpower and materials not only optimize in-terminal operations. They also unlock the potential for new waves of growth and the reinvention of the business.

The multi-modal platforms that sustain connected ports provide the building blocks for a transformational journey. They offer port owners the opportunity to share key information across an extended ecosystem of partners. And together with other transformational technologies—Blockchain, for instance, digitizes shipping documentation safely, securely and at scale 2 —they offer port owners the opportunity to develop an entirely new role, beyond logistics.

1 Source: Unctad “Port Management Case Studies” April 16 2018
Port Management Series volume 5

2 Blockchain transforms Freight and Logistics industry

Deven Chhaya

Lead – IoT & Blockchain, Accenture Digital, ASEAN

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