How disruptive technologies can achieve sustainable port development and operations

Transport Events Webinar 5th March 2021

Aidrivers Editor
Mar 5 · 5 min read


Dr Rafiq Swash: Founder, AIDrivers, UK

Jon Arnup: Founder & CEO, Trent Ports Group, Singapore

Aldo Ferrufino: Director, Ports Solutions Jacobs, UAE

Peter Boshoff: CEO, Remy InfoSource, Singapore

Jay Pandya: Director, IGO Solutions UK

This group of esteemed leaders from the port industry focussed on Ai and the integration of solutions to drive forward the development of ports ensuring resiliency and appropriateness for the future. The technologies offered by each company disrupt the port industry by introducing new practices, innovative techniques and a whole new way of managing port terminal operations.

Dr Rafiq Swash: Founder, AIDrivers, UK

Dr Rafiq Swash of AIDrivers focussed his presentation on the acceleration and adoption of autonomous mobility technology in port terminals. Of parallel importance are resiliency, safety and sustainability which form the bedrock of the introduction of autonomous vehicles to ports.

The port industry is suffering from high operating costs, skilled labour shortages an excess of inefficiencies. AIDrivers’ core principle is to solve the needs of the port industry. Currently, the company retrofits existing port mobility fleets without any need for infrastructure upgrades. The concept is a plug-in and play integration solution with zero downtime whilst the upgrade is deployed. Port operators are adopting this new disruptive technology as ROI is within 2 years which is converting existing burnings into investement and there is a up to 50% cost reduction. Environmentally it is sustainable as there is up to 30% lower energy usage, less vehicle emissions and less waste of existing assets and through unnecessary maintenance. The retrofitting is highly scalable and can be used for both for brownfield and greenfield sites. All these points make the innovative mobility solutions highly attractive to terminal operators.

AIDrivers’ autonomous drive systems work across all port equipment platforms using market leading sensors for uncompromised safety. Using the AIRS (Autonomous Intelligent Retrofitting System) it delivers the necessary precision for vehicle use in complex environments. The digital twin technology creates real-world reflective simulations to excel the experience, data analytics for optimization as well as zero down time integration in the brown field terminals. AIDrivers is also redefining the next generation of standards for L4 industrial autonomous safety.

AIDrivers’ Ai enabled autonomous mobility solution for ports is constantly upgrading and will disrupt port processes beneficially going forward as adoption rates pick up. They are at the cutting edge of mobility technology and the changes to port operations that they deliver will radically shake up port functionality. It is a very exciting time for this technology and for AIDrivers.

Aldo Ferrufino: Director, Ports Solutions Jacobs, UAE

Jacobs is one of the world’s premier engineering companies. It is currently undergoing a huge transformation to deliver digitalisation to ports. The company recognises that a major challenge is devising new solutions to suit the future of ports as the current architecture does not work for the next step of ports’ evolution. Jacobs’ answer to this problem is addressing port operators’ end-to-end offering and the ability for ports to outsource functions.

Flexible and scalable plans to change port systems are key to the business offering. Finding gaps in operations and upgrading them from analogue to digital is a core focus. However, incorporating sustainable processes in the upgrades is vital. This Jacobs believes, can only be achieved by continual and holistic review and optimisation. In addition, improving predictability and efficiencies, cutting costs and better management of facilities are all part of the end-to-end offering.

The changes are a transformational journey and do not happen on day one. However, as a whole this new method of upgrading port operations is certainly disruptive and highly advantageous.

Jon Arnup: Founder & CEO, Trent Ports Group, Singapore

Jon spotlighted the central tenet of Trent’s business namely, a good partnership with the client. To this end, putting depth behind buzz words is paramount to clarify exactly what the client needs. The Trent business model is about how to deliver disruptive technology to ports.

Trent focuses on the alignment of people, processes, capex and opex plans to create a cost effective, phased, practical and sustainable transition from a customers’ current state to their desired future goal. Only when the relationship with the client is solid and plans understood, can the disruption begin.

This business process is not about a big bang transformation, rather the changes will happen gradually by bringing affordable and scalable technology to clients. To this end, continued collaboration is key. Trent holds its agility to respond to clients’ needs as a priority, realising that to add value, you must first disrupt just like Amazon’s journey.

Jay Pandya: Director, IGO Solutions UK

Jay opened with the statement that the adaptability is key. This is true for all stakeholders. Ports face a multiplicity of challenges with many uncertainties to address. IGO are using many disruptive technologies including cloud computing, SaaS and 5G to modernise port settings.

These new innovations produce a lot of data which needs careful processing. As in all big data exercises, there is a plethora of unclean data which needs to be sifted and sorted for usability. This is one of the aims of IGO in delivering disruptive answers for port operators which will subsequently allow Ai and its self-learning mechanisms to function optimally.

IGO offers its AiCON suite which is powered by Ai. This is a port-wide solution covering tracking, prediction, analytics, synchronising and monitoring of all terminal processes. All these elements are interlinked making decisions together to improve terminal performance. This business model really does harness the power of Ai and the fourth industrial revolution of the interconnectivity of things and is a true disruptor.

Peter Boshoff: CEO, Remy InfoSource, Singapore

Peter stressed that methodology is just as important as technology. If the methodology is not robust, then introducing automation will just create a whole new set of problems. To this end, the product, iSpec, delivers a total solution for port operators ensuring all data is kept in one place. This upholds the concept of ensuring organisation and A grade methodology. The concept is based on a single point of truth for all stakeholders, centrally located, unrepeated, findable and traceable. This transformation is totally disruptive as up until this type of data retention technique, there would be multiple copies in multiple locations which in in a digital age, is unnecessary and confusing.

The data retained would refer to port assets such as quay cranes, mobile equipment and terminal equipment. Increasing productivity and efficiencies are the key focus.

iSpec provides total project visibility, transparency, for implementation, project management up to and including the point at which information is handed over. This system is hugely beneficial for the streamlining of projects and the handling all eventualities.

With the rising levels of complexity in ports and the widespread adoption of digitalisation, iSpec’s system of centrally holding information is absolutely vital to ensure ports can focus on operations. This is a tool to manage the introduction of disruptive technologies as well as being a disruptive technology itself.

Aidrivers Ltd.

Autonomous Mobility. Only Do Better.