Port optimisation

Port environments are complex ecosystems of infrastructure, regulatory controls, operational processes, equipment, people and customers; we have been working in these environments for over 140 years and know that a holistic approach is the only path to effective optimisation.
Port optimisation
Smarter ports are working towards the goal of reduced waste through optimisation; reducing cost, engaging technology, altering process and practices and growing their traffic with new clients, all leading towards a resilient future port business.

We focus on the combination between People, Process and Technology, as the foundation of all smart port projects; enabling staff and clients to work with effective practices, using digital tools to maximise performance and resource efficiency in every sense.
port optimisation

Our Smart Ports team are experts in identifying systems and processes to develop operational, organisational and technology transformation projects to optimise port operations.

Data analysis & metrics

To understand capacity and areas of improvement within a port operation, the use of metrics to benchmark current performance and set targets for aspiration is an important initial topic for any optimisation project.

Ports collect a wide range of data that can be used to understand where resources (land, equipment, people) could be used optimally. Our team can analyse all types of existing data, by gathering, cleaning and structuring, to create a meaningful and interactive view of port performance. This can be focused on the known concerns of the operator, or for a broad view of the organisation to identify where focus areas should be adopted.

Where gaps exist in metrics data, we can add new sensors or communications to secure suitable data and create near-time dashboards for port monitoring.

Metrics are useful but should be tied to port strategy and business targets, whereby some data metrics become KPIs for the whole business. Our Smart Ports team can guide on port optimisation strategies and the right data metrics to become those guiding indicators.

Digitally enabled port layouts

The organisation and layout of cargo facilities is vital to optimise quayside operations and flexible storage capacity. We are experts in analysing port workflows, layouts, traffic routing and operational behaviours to identify opportunities for more efficient processes. Our focus is always on reducing dwell time and operating costs, while improving customer satisfaction, reputation and asset optimisation. From container terminals, general cargo, dry bulk, to automotive or ferry terminals and all the wider operations of the port estate, we have experience in every aspect.

Ports may have inherited organic layouts and processes over many decades, into a complex web of practices that is hard to un-tangle and improve upon. Particularly with digitalisation conversions from manual or paper-driven options, the physical layout and interactions can undergo significant change. A detailed review of process flows, spatial and infrastructure layouts and regulatory controls is needed to really understand where improvements will be effective.

Our team can reorganise both physical, procedural and technological layouts of ports and cargo terminals, with a holistic service, reaching recommendations for change programmes to deliver a modern design and practice for the future.

Port process & layout simulation

To dive in more deeply into improved layouts and performance metrics, our team can develop simulation models to demonstrate and validate scenarios for intended change. Simulation tools are ideal for testing change programmes for automation, revised layouts, or digital processes, and validate any constraints or metrics for the investment business case.

Our team use a variety of platforms, from FlexSim for cargo terminal layouts and traffic, through to Witness for complex industrial processes, to suit client needs and outputs. These simulations can be used to support business case option development for future investment, and to set performance criteria for testing the results of the project.

We design, deliver and support our clients in adopting innovative technologies to develop their operational capabilities, and to implement data-driven approaches to managing their ports, cargo and customers.

The Royal HaskoningDHV Smart Port team are experts in guiding global ports to achieve optimised operations.

Get in touch with our team today to discuss your needs.

Mark Wootton - Director for Terminal automation


Director for Terminal automation