Specifically, energy transition and digitalization are taking place throughout the whole shipping industry, with the port of Rotterdam already making steps for a more digitalized environment.

Where do you start when preparing your port for the future in a disrupted environment?

... asks the Port of Rotterdam.

First of all, the port of the future must be agile; Freight flows are changing at breathtaking speed. Markets are shifting as the middle classes in regions across the planet – not just in China and India – expand rapidly. Some ports are becoming more important, while others are seeing changes to their existing revenue models.

The port highlights that change in trade flow may be a risk as a port cannot move to a different location; Yet, new trends and developments also create new opportunities: to make the most of the energy transition, or to establish a position in the sustainable and digital supply chains of the future.

Secondly, a port should be smart. The future ports will be entirely digital and climate-neutral. Based on digitalization, ports will have greater transparency, predictability, efficient operations and logistical chains. By making the most of artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things, these ports will cut emissions, and save time and money.

In addition, the port commented that the port of the future will need seven distinct building blocks:

  1. organisation and clients
  2. assets
  3. infrastructure
  4. environment and stakeholder engagement
  5. energy
  6. digital transition
  7. innovation.

Concluding, to learn more about the ports of the future, see port of Rotterdam's white paper here.