Seaports and inland ports are key interfaces in intermodal transport – transport which is vital to industry and trade. Port performance parameters play a decisive role in the quality of international and intercontinental transport chains. Experts from industrial and transport enterprises estimate that 40 to 50% of total transport costs originate in ports. This share of the overall cost of transport chains translates into enormous savings potential for inland and sea transport carriers, who need to implement consistent digitization strategies – a so-called “electronic handshake” – when moving goods. These carriers play a vital role in the competitiveness of industrial and commercial enterprises as well as at the transshipment, transport and logistics enterprises involved in intermodal transport.
Manufacturers and retailers have been making it clear for a number of years that their consistent “Industry 4.0” digitization strategy also needs to be adopted by logistics service providers and ports, and that interconnectedness is of the essence. On the other hand, seaports are facing their own problems due to ever larger container vessels and the consequent infrastructural bottlenecks, a shortage of skilled workers in the transshipment sector and new environmental regulations – all of which lead to ongoing problems regarding the quality of service and reliability in port transshipment operations.