Trelleborg Presents At The International Cooperation And Development Forum On Marine Economy 2020

By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation

The International Cooperation and Development Forum on Marine Economy 2020, which was held in Shenzhen, China, on October 15 and 16, saw world-renowned marine industry experts, government figures and Chinese business leaders, along with other key international stakeholders, discuss the required improvements in global ocean governance to ensure the development of China's marine industry and the global marine economy, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was delighted to be invited to speak as part of a panel at this year’s forum on the importance of digitalization within the maritime industry and specifically, how smart solutions will help to advance port operations for a strong and sustainable future. Digitalization within ports is critical if owners and operators want to keep up with demands including growing vessel sizes, increased vessel reliability and the need for reduced emissions. My presentation demonstrated the benefits of port automation and the advantages of smart technologies for making the port and vessel interface more sophisticated and progressive.

There are huge benefits to be had for port owners and operators who are willing to advance and digitalize their ports and terminals. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen a massive increase in vessel size, with 90% of world trade currently being moved by seaborne transport. As a minimum, to preserve a competitive advantage and a sustainable future for the port industry, ports should operate using digital and smart technologies.

Smart technology and automation solutions provide real-time intelligence and line-of-sight of the port to vessel interface. This significantly improves the safety, efficiency and sustainability of port operations by increasing accuracy, removing the need for costly dredging or infrastructure work and reducing emissions. We are positive that with a commitment to innovation and smart technology, collectively as an industry we can recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and secure a prosperous future for the industry.

Delegates also learnt about SmartPort, which powers the critical interface between ship and port, on land and at sea. I presented examples of Trelleborg’s smart systems in action, showcasing how SmartPort connects port operations, allowing operators to analyze performance and use data to improve decision making. The system integrates assets like fenders, mooring equipment, ship performance monitoring, and navigation systems, underpinned by cloud technologies.

The forum was hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Government of Guangdong Province and the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, in conjunction with the China Marine Economy Expo.

For more information about SmartPort or any of Trelleborg’s smart solutions, please click here: