Tuesday 22nd June 2021

A Spanish port handles Big Data, and steering IBM’s Watson on the road

Published on February 13th, 2019

Water-driven fleet operations are increasingly adopting IoT-based systems to increase their productivity, Antony Savvas takes a look at one of the newest projects, and how IBM’s Artificial Intelligence is building its presence in the car supply chain.

Traxens is trialling its Internet of Things (IoT) network capabilities in a port environment for the first time, at the port of Valencia, Spain. The pilot project from the Big Data and fleet management specialist is aimed at providing a better overview of traffic at the port for improved operational efficiency.

The French company is collaborating in Valencia with the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, a global player in transportation and logistics, along with the Port Authority at Valencia and its logistics and technology research body Fundacion Valenciaport (FVP).

Managing congestion

As part of the pilot project, MSC Spain trucks have been equipped with Traxens’ IoT devices, allowing for near real-time tracking of movement of vehicles. This can help port authorities to predict and manage potential congestion, as well as to anticipate truck arrivals at the gates.

Overall operational efficiency is expected to “significantly improve” due to easy monitoring of on-site road activity and improved fleet management as well as pre- and post-carriage management, said Traxens, which has installed a digital gateway in the MSC Terminal to allow enhanced and secured connectivity.

It will also provide access to its Big Data analytics platform, TraxensHub, via APIs, bringing enhanced analytics and reporting capabilities to port authorities.

Sailing along with Big Data

“Our project at the port of Valencia is one of the first applications of an IoT system in a port environment and we are eagerly awaiting results,” said Jacques Delort, managing director of Traxens. “We believe that Big Data is the future of the shipping industry.”

Jaime Lopez, intermodal project leader at MSC Spain, said: “We have already used IoT devices by Traxens for tracking our containers and we believe that the functionality can really help port authorities in improving operations. This could bring benefits to all parties.”

Following a successful start, Traxens aims to extend its solution to other terminals within the port of Valencia by deploying additional gateways. The existing gateway will then be used for testing and improving processes related to all smart containers passing through the area.

Car container control

Antony Savvas

In other cargo news, IBM is aiming to “revolutionise” container tracking for car maker Groupe PSA in partnership with Sigfox. Group PSA owns the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall car brands.

The partners’ “Track&Trace” solution brings together IBM’s Watson AI cloud-based IoT technologies and Sigfox’ international “0G” wireless network, allowing Groupe PSA to optimise container rotation between its various supplier sites and factories.

Groupe PSA can now track its sensor-equipped containers in real time through Sigfox’ network. The solution aims to reduce production line breakdowns and eliminate packaging waste, and is currently being deployed at several sites in the group.

“This Track&Trace system allows us to know in detail where our containers are located, allowing us to optimise our rotation loops and to prevent incidents. It is a new step in the digitalisation of our supply chain,” said Yann Vincent, EVP of manufacturing and supply chain at Groupe PSA.

Significantly, IBM, Sigfox and Groupe PSA plan to offer their jointly developed platform to other European manufacturers during 2019.

The author is freelance technology writer, Antony Savvas.

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