Information for Smart Port Practitioners

At the Smart Ports Alliance, we are building a community, resources, events and more to help ports and terminals achieve their digital ambitions.

The Challenge for Ports and Terminals

Since Manifesto: Defining the Smart Port was first written in 2020, a shift has happened.  Every port has a desire to make better use of new technology, but recognise that digital solutions are only one part of being Smart. 


Digitalisation and Digital Transformation are not the same thing... and neither are they just the procurement of new systems.  While digitalisation focuses on delivering a more efficient business process enabled by technology, Digital Transformation reimagines the business model. 


In either case, any organisation must first consider how it uses People and Process to deliver services.  Once those two are understood, the right Technology, as the enabler, can be identified.

Unlike organisations in other industries, Ports and Terminals cannot act in isolation to streamline their business.  They are a hub, where multiple supply chain actors converge.  Successful digitalisation or transformation of many services must also consider other actors in the supply chain.

Complex evaluation of the current state, and definition of the future state of the organisation, requires dedicated resource with specialist skills.  This means rethinking the IT operating model - from a service driven cost-centre to an outward facing team, tightly integrated with the business and working in partnership to understand challenges and devise new solutions that create value for the organisation.


Every industry is suffering from a shortage of digital skills.  The Port Industry is no exception.  Investment in new people and skills can be hard to justify when the potential benefits are unknown.  Large organisations may be willing and able to invest speculatively.  Smaller organisations may find this challenging.  Left unchecked, the digital divide between large and small ports will continue to grow and opportunities to create a more efficient supply chain diminish.

How The Smart Ports Alliance Can Help

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An online networking forum, where ports and terminals can come together to share knowledge and experiences, or discuss and identify opportunities to collaborate on solutions to common challenges

Technology and transformation insights in plain language to help businesses understand the value of new IT operating models, the value proposition of technology, and how to evaluate its relevance to meet business requirements

An innovation portal where ports can find out about technology solutions and engage with interested vendors to create or adapt existing solutions to meet the specific challenges of the industry

Join the conversation anywhere!

The Smart Ports Alliance app is now available to download from the Apple App Store, and the Google Play store.

Now you can talk Smart Ports from the comfort of your own phone.  Every day just became conference day.

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Who is The Smart Ports Alliance for?

We are for anyone interested in the digitalisation of Ports and Terminals.

Digitalisation has the potential to impact of every area of the business, from strategic planning, to operational decision making; from identifying new commercial opportunities to optimising assets; from environmental impact to customer experience.

Every decision made in one area has an impact on other areas.  That's why we promote the Smart Port as a mindset.  A holistic approach that involves employees at all levels of the business, customers, suppliers, users, and many more.

Maritime Collaboration

Ports hold a unique position at the intersection of land and sea.  They are critical nodes, but at the same time only one link in a global supply chain.  The place where actors and activities come together. 


Transformation is occurring across the Supply Chain.  Ports and Terminals cannot act alone.  To be truly successful, their transformation process must consider the wider maritime, road and rail freight industries. 


The Smart Ports Alliance welcomes input from all stakeholders as it works to achieve a more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable port industry.

That's why we're pleased to be working with Maritime Digital Hub - an international non-profit organisation supporting technology and transformation in the maritime industry.

You can learn more about Maritime Digital Hub here