Continuous development towards port digitalization

Port of Kokkola was among the first ports to introduce the Port Activity App in early 2021. Getting all port stakeholders onboard and leading the change of the organizational culture were at the heart of the port digitalization process.
Client:
Port of Kokkola

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Port of Kokkola is the third largest general port in Finland and it consists of three port areas. Kokkola is a recognized and useful link in the worldwide container transport network. An important part of the operations in the General Port takes place in Europe’s largest covered All Weather Terminal, which significantly enhances the efficiency of cargo handling. The Deep Port, specialized in dark bulk, is the by far heaviest port area, thanks to the large volumes handled. On the other hand, the Silverstone Port is specially designed for handling light bulk cargoes such as limestone, and various demanding project cargoes, such as large windmill components.

CHALLENGE

Keeping all port actors up-to-date

The Port of Kokkola has been digitizing its port operations and ERP systems since 2015. It all began with recognizing the challenges related to data transfer and information sharing, such as various IT systems used, keeping the information up-to-date, unaligned data transfer and challenges in communication between all port actors.

”Previously I collected data about arriving vessels from emails and webportals to a spreadsheet. On Fridays I sent the document to our port stakeholders after our weekly meeting. The information was up-to-date for only half an hour."

Jyrki Roukala, Development manager, Port of Kokkola

The main goal was to develop digital ERP capabilities through data analytics, real-time situational awareness and predictive planning. After numerous development projects – including the implementation of a private LTE network for the port area – Port of Kokkola partnered with Unikie in 2020 to clarify what information is relevant to manage port operations efficiently.

PROCESS

First port to introduce the port application

The Port of Kokkola continued, with the support of Unikie, to identify current information needs, as well as future development ideas. Meanwhile, Unikie was preparing the launch of the new Port Activity App, a national port digitalization service hosted by Fintraffic VTS. Read more about Fintraffic’s role in developing the service.

Shared group meetings and continuous information exchange were crucial for both Unikie and the Port of Kokkola in order to ensure a successful launch for Port Activity App among all port actors. It was also clear that the app would not replace all existing systems at once – it was all about setting up new operating models step by step.

The Port of Kokkola was among the first ports to introduce the port application in early 2021. Getting all port stakeholders onboard and leading the change of the organizational culture were at the heart of the port digitalization process.

SOLUTION

Better communication, predictive planning, satisfied customers.

Since the launch of Port Activity App, the service has gained over 60 users in Kokkola area. The application provides a user interface for real-time situational awareness data and brings together all information needed by port call operators such as terminals, tugs, sea pilots, port authorities, mooring personnel, captains and logistics.

”Port Activity App has changed the way we operate and share information with our port actors: the application has replaced most emails, phone calls and spreadsheets, and it enables operations planning several days and weeks ahead. Communication with all actors works better, information is always up-to-date, and finally our customers are satisfied with us."

Tomas Mikkola, Harbour Master, Port of Kokkola

To ensure efficient port operations now and in the future, the Port of Kokkola and Unikie have also co-created a completely new app functionality to plan port operations several weeks ahead. The Berth Planning Tool enables locating vessels to berths and bollards (position & direction) for better visibility of the total capacity. It is also possible to reserve berths for maintenance or other activities.

The development continues as the Port of Kokkola and Unikie have already several new projects ongoing. We are for example working towards predictive berth planning for (un)loading operations, including crane reservations and operating time estimates, as well as integrating rail and inland logistics to the service.

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