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Louisiana's 'Smart Port' to overcome port management challenges

9 minute read
Given the vital role of ports in promoting global trade, It is essential that port management authorities have a clear understanding of port operations and associated logistics and supply chains.
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Given the vital role of ports in promoting global trade, It is essential that port management authorities have a clear understanding of port operations and associated logistics and supply chains. That's why the Louisiana government has launched the "Smart Port" project, which is concerned with providing live and direct information on the progress of operations at the port. For shipping companies, port users and management, regulatory bodies and companies that manage transportation services.

Port management teams need to continuously develop operational and regulatory processes to keep pace with the requirements imposed by the shipping sector because of its essential role in the movement of global trade. Port-sized facilities can no longer rely on traditional methods of conducting their operations, Rather, innovation should be raised and the latest technologies should be used to manage and protect these operations at the same time, and this requires the creation of smarter infrastructures to complete commercial and service operations within digitally connected ports. Managed according to a comprehensive system that meets the requirements and needs and addresses today's challenges, It can also anticipate tomorrow's challenges to deal with them more efficiently.

In the United States of America, Some of the most prominent ports are located on both banks of the Mississippi River, The ports of the Lower Mississippi River in Louisiana are also the most important shipping node in the world. All of these ports are vitally dependent on safe and efficient navigation within this river. Of course, The many challenges that accompany this importance, The most prominent of which are the requirements for organizing thousands of operations that take place around the clock, In addition, Louisiana Port Management is exposed to challenges that nature imposes on the operation of ports along the Mississippi River, such as changing water levels and reduced visibility. as well as sedimentation at the river bed, It is a phenomenon that requires dredging operations, which can be costly if carried out without prior and careful planning.

Accordingly, The Louisiana government has launched the Smart Port initiative. It is an initiative designed to provide live and first-hand information on the progress of operations at the port, For shipping companies, port users and management, regulatory bodies and companies that manage transportation services. The government will implement the initiative over a period of two months in cooperation with several entities, As the Gulf Water Research Institute, It is the non-profit organization that will provide technical solutions for the project, The Port of New Orleans management, which will provide $125,000 in seed funding along with the trial ground, Selected as the Louisiana International Container Port, along with the Louisiana Economic Development Authority.

The initiative uses sensors and data analysis techniques to help port management make more consistent operational decisions based on proven and accurate information. This is part of a project distributed in three phases:

In the first stage, The Gulf Water Research Institute will install data sensors on tugboats and other vessels transiting the port. Through these devices, Dynamic water rates in the Mississippi River and sediment levels in shallow parts of it will be detected.

In the second stage, A unified digital system will be created connecting container warehouses, land carriers, docking stations, warehouses, shipping lines and operators.

As for the third stage, The Louisiana Economic Development Authority has developed a different conception and dimension, The Hurricane and Flood Monitoring Center will model the data to share with the National Security and Emergency Preparedness Agency, the Louisiana National Guard and other parties within the emergency response system.

Preparations are still underway for the implementation of the three phases of the project, Based on the challenges that may be faced and ways to deal with them, The experiment will be evaluated. If successful, The Louisiana Economic Development Authority is seeking federal funding to expand the concept and implement the smart port model in all state ports once the communications programs and information sharing systems needed for the second phase of the project are completed.

Besides commercial and scientific value, The data collected by tugboats will return an operational value, They will be employed to monitor river changes and model ways to deal with them. As the detection of sediment levels will contribute to raising safety rates, It will also provide port management with the necessary information to determine future dredging needs, develop predictive analyses and make the right decisions. This means keeping the river at its optimal levels of performance and saving time and money. Securing digital connectivity between supply chain links will coordinate and run its operations smoothly, efficiently and securely. In addition, Data modeling is worth raising the level of preparedness for threats, emergencies and natural disasters, Strengthening capacity to respond to coastal and inland flooding events, and enable more accurate prediction. As for the far-reaching impact of the project, It is to provide a model for the future of Louisiana's maritime trade and enhance its competitiveness within the global trade system.




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