Port of Rotterdam uses sensors to optimise port operations

(Credit: Port of Rotterdam)

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has launched a system that uses a network of 44 sensors to provide accurate and up-to-date water (hydro) and weather (meteo) data particularly for the planning and management of shipping.

For instance, sensors incorporated on and in quay walls, dolphins, waterways, road, and traffic signs generate continued measurement data, and these can communicate with other autonomous systems. This lays the foundation to facilitate autonomous shipping in the Port of Rotterdam in the future.

The delivered hydro/meteo system obtains height of tide, tidal stream, salinity, wind speed, wind direction, and visibility data via a combination of 44 sensors in the port, prediction models, data from Rijkswaterstaat, and astronomical calculations. This enables the application to contribute to reductions of waiting times and optimisation of berthing, loading/unloading and departure times. The technology allows, for example, to more precisely predict the best time to berth and depart, depending on water conditions, while guaranteeing maximum loads.

Users of the hydro/meteo system currently includes the pilotage service, Rijkswaterstaat, DCMR and various departments within the port authority. Each day, the platform is processing some 1.2 million data points for models, systems, and users.