5G is coming – ports are going digital

The digitisation of Finnish ports is progressing bit by bit. The benefits of going digital include safety, situational data, emission reductions and smoother running operations in general. 5G technology will now be running hand-in-hand with digitalisation.

Projects supported by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom’s 5G Momentum ecosystem are studying how 5G technology and wireless can promote digitalisation and automation in a variety of sectors, such as industry, ports and transport.

The projects are seeking genuine improvements to existing practices and ways to enable new operating and business models. These include logistics, safety and transport connections. Extreme examples would be autonomous buses or smart lanes at ports. “5G boosts three features. Enhanced mobile broadband enables the quick transfer of large amounts of data, such as video materials. Low-latency and greater reliability enable robots or autonomous buses. The Internet of Things (IoT) enables a massive amount of sensors for data collection.

In the future, it will be possible to slice the capacity of a 5G network. A specific slice could specialise in the use of IoT devices, while another could serve automation requiring low-latency,” says Heidi Himmanen from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

“A large number of sensors can be connected to the network for data collection. Data is food for artificial intelligence, which can use it for functions such as video identification or determining maintenance requirements. Sensor batteries can last for up to ten years. 5G brings not only increased speed but also lower latency. This would, for example, enable the remote control of
harbour cranes,” says Himmanen.

Himmanen says that, although we cannot yet know the exact characteristics of the 5G networks and the progress they will bring, tests are already giving us a good idea.

“We’re now having the first user equipment that support the first version of 5G on the market. Many trials are using prototype devices whose features can be adapted during testing. Although enhanced 5G broadband is already entering the consumer market, many features for automation and robotisation are still at the standardisation stage.

But in a few years’ time, we will come a long way.”

Port projects

One example of partial automation is automooring, that is, mooring vessels without the need for onshore personnel. The Port of Rauma’s smart lanes provide data about climatic conditions. About a year ago, the Port of Hanko launched UnitSpotter – “a dating service for transport” – which seeks to match cargo with free transport units. The freight forwarding agent uses a browser based service to enter details about the cargo, such as what type of transport unit is required and when. Alternatively, the transport company may announce what kind of transport units are currently free.

This reduces empty runs, which in turn improves cost-effectiveness, reduces coordinators’ workloads, and helps the environment.

The service is free and open to all registered users operating in the sector. Development work is continuously being carried out – for example, map views and scheduling make the service more user friendly.

In the Port of Oulu a project called 5G- Viima is developing situational awareness and camera apps with funding from Business Finland. The Port of Turku is currently working on an EU-funded project called SecurePax, which is seeking increased control and safety in passenger traffic. This project aims to develop methods to better identify passengers and ensure that prohibited goods and items are not brought onboard. Passenger ports in both Turku and Stockholm will be piloting security and ICT solutions.

A report on this will be published in the summer.

More time is spent at larger ports. The Port of Hamburg has tested 5G networks that harness IoT and Industry 4.0 applications. The port authority’s vessels are equipped with sensors that collect data about a ship’s movements at the port. A second pilot boosted the efficiency of traffic control from a remote monitoring centre. In a third pilot, 3D data on port structures was sent to an augmented reality app, enabling viewers to use smart goggles to explore new buildings planned for the port.

Concrete ideas for the Port of HaminaKotka in a year’s time

The 5G Finlog – 5G Future Innovation Platform for Logistics -project, which is funded by the Structural Fund of Southern Finland, is exploring opportunities to harness 5G in the HaminaKotka port areas of Mussalo. Mussalo is an industrial and port zone that contains industrial manufacturing, warehouses and an extensive port. The project is setting up a research and innovation platform based on 5G technology and building a 5G Test Network to execute different 5G related technology pilot use-cases.

“Our project is finally taking shape as the structure and specifications for the 5G Test Network are finished. Next we ́ll build the network and implement testing at the site. The actual 5G pilots will be launched on the first quarter of 2021,” says Project Manager Jonne Holmén from South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

The test environment will be established in a diverse environment. Up to a million sensors can be placed in an area of one square metre. The port’s entire infrastructure will be controllable via the
sensor network.

In a physical business environment that requires the transportation of dangerous and valuable products, sensoring and optimisation could have a favourable impact on logistics processes. Turna-
round times for trucks and ships will be shortened, and the port’s cargo handling systems can be made as efficient as possible.

“In a 5G environment, cloud and edge computing will enable two-way data transfer in the machine environment. 3G and 4G are good, but 5G is necessary for IoT applications and will also enable the use of sensor technology,” says Ulmanen.

What would be a concrete idea at this stage?

“Our aim at this point is to test high capacity camera uplink application and NB-IoT road surface measurement sensors. In addition we’ve been brainstorming whether artificial intelligence could boost the efficiency of port production, or whether port air quality could be controlled with the aid of emission measurements, or if drone technology could be combined with thermal cameras whose

HD images could be sent to security stations. These discussions are trying to determine what is sensible and appropriate, and to what extent. How far is it worth taking automation and digitalisation?” wonders Holmén.

PHOTO: Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom

The Finnish maritime cluster knows collaboration

Finland’s maritime cluster is one of the country’s most significant business sectors with annual revenues of EUR 14 billion. The sector employs 50,000 people all over the country. The maritime cluster encompasses about 3,000 companies from various sectors, all of which are connected by their maritime expertise. Our diversity differentiates us from many other countries.

Read article

Aid crucial in pandemic survival

One lesson learned from Covid-19 has been asking for help, says Björn Blomqvist, Managing Director of Rederi AB Eckerö.

Read article

Support and promotion for Finnish Shipping Industry

The Shipowners’ Foundation in Finland was established in 2008. The Foundation aims to support research, education, and communication in the Finnish shipping industry as well as to promote activities related to the shipping industry.

Read article

Breaking Waves focused on smart recovery – speakers emphasized cooperation and digitalization

Maritime industry faces big challenges due COVID19-pandemic. Pandemic is seen to lead to stronger collaboration and accelerated digitalisation.

Read article

Breaking Waves: Towards smart and emission-free shipping

The Breaking Waves conference 2019 at the Messukeskus Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre as part of the world-leading start-up event Slush. The famous buzz surrounding the event also extended to the maritime
cluster’s conference, as the top names and influencers in the sector met to discuss the future challenges facing maritime logistics.

Read article

The world is becoming autonomous

“The world is becoming autonomous,” Pia Meling said in Breaking Waves-conference in Helsinki. Why should it not happen in maritime?

Read article

“We are not dinosaurs”

“I am so sick and tired of hearing that we are the dinosaurs,” Erwin Verstraelen said. “If 90 percent of the global trade is maritime based, you can’t be a dinosaur.”

Read article

“The world is getting more complex”

“We have to use infrastructure in a clever way. Our target must be in cities and ports, to avoid traffic jams and keep the traffic flowing,” says Port of Hamburg CEO Jens Meier.

Read article

Record Years 2018 And 2019 For The Finnish Maritime Cluster – However The Looming Corona Slowdown Behind The Corner

Recently Rauma Marine Construction announced a MoU with the Tasmanian TT-Line to build in 2022–2023 two Ro-Paxes in Finland and simultaneously reported that the RMC orderbook already had exceeded 1 billion euros in value. These two announcements well reflect the excellent growth path in the Finnish Maritime Cluster that prevailed in 2018 and 2019. The […]

Read article

Rauma Marine Construction has secured a solid orderbook

Rauma is one of the three primary shipbuilding cities in Finland. The other two are Helsinki and Turku.

Read article

Costa Smeralda delivered from Meyer Turku shipyard

Costa Smeralda is one of the most innovative, and some would claim, the most beautiful ships ever built at Turku shipyard.

Read article

Changes at Helsinki Shipyard

In Spring 2019, Arctech Helsinki Shipyard sold Helsinki Shipyard to Algador Holdings Ltd, which is registered in Cyprus. The holding company operates river cruises and engages in the merchant naval business. Quite soon after the deal the shipyard received first order for two expedition cruise ships.

Read article

Roger Holm from Wärtsilä Marine: Technology is already creating many opportunities for smart shipping

As a tech group, Wärtsilä Oyj’s strategy has long revolved around smart technology and smart shipping. In practice, this means providing safe, energy-efficient and sustainable solutions for Wärtsilä Marine’s customers.

Read article

Cargotec sees great benefits in the optimisation of traffic flows

The Finnish listed company Cargotec Corporation has set its sights on becoming the market leader in intelligent cargo handling. Cargotec harnesses digitalisation and cloud services to boost efficiency in shipping logistics chains, save money for customers and pave the way for responsible business.

Read article

ABB riding the wave of marine industry digitalization

As vessels become electric, digital and connected, ABB Marine & Ports ́s unit in Finland has plenty of work ahead of it to digitalize the marine industry. Autonomous solutions are expected to transform international shipping in the coming decades.

Read article

Surma joins Chilean icebreaker project

Surma, a Finnish company in the defence equipment sector, has signed an agreement with ASMAR shipyard covering electro- magnetic compatibility design and management for Chile’s Antártica 1icebreaker.

Read article

Aurora Botnia – a challenge for Foreship

The design of Wasaline’s new ferry has already posed challenges for marine engineers at the design agency Foreship. In addition to being environmentally friendly, the ship must be able to operate to a strict timetable in shallow and freezing waters – and often in difficult weather conditions.

Read article

Wello’s Penguin will become a common sight on the world’s oceans

Wello’s technology for harnessing ocean-wave energy is now ready to be put into real action. Thanks to an increasing number of devices and installations, the Finnish company believes that wave energy will soon become the most affordable type of renewable energy.

Read article

Aker Arctic plays with high stakes at high latitudes

The technology company Aker Arctic is a notable international player in northern shipping. In addition to icebreakers and ice-going vessels that are working in Finland, the company also holds an important position in international markets. For example, icebreaker design for Sweden and many Arctic transport projects in the Northeast Passage are currently ongoing.

Read article

NauticAi and Inmarsat join forces

NauticAi, one of Finland’s leading maritime startups, has joined the Fleet Data service provided by the satellite company Inmarsat.

Read article

Cadmatic has a firm belief in data-driven shipbuilding

As CEO of Cadmatic, a company that provides design and information management software for the shipping, construction and process industries, Jukka Rantala has firsthand experience of the progress being made in ‘paperless design’ at shipyards.

Read article

Maintenance agreement with Wärtsilä

Norsepower, a cleantech company that develops wind power solutions for ships, made several significant steps forward during the year. The company has gained new customers, significant partners, and firm proof that its Flettner rotors perform well under real-life conditions.

Read article

Baltic Sea vessels rapidly getting cleaner

Shipping companies operating in Finland’s sea areas have rapidly reacted to requirements for cleaner shipping. In the coming years, dozens of highly advanced cargo and passenger vessels will be completed for the Baltic Sea.

Read article

Meriaura – pioneer of sustainable shipping

Meriaura is family owned Turku-based shipping company that offers a variety of services in marine transportation. Meriaura is the first sea carrier that can offer a carbon neutral sea transport contract for its customers.

Read article

Arctia’s icebreakers open shipping lanes every winter

The 100% Finnish state-owned shipping company Arctia Oy safeguards year-round maritime transport in Finland in all conditions.

Read article

Our vision is to be the world’s most functional port

Helsinki has been Europe’s busiest international passenger port for several years, but the covid-19 pandemic and travelling restrictions have quieted down the lively passenger traffic. Cruise industry has a strong belief in future.

Read article

Rauanheimo focuses on the port of HaminaKotka

Rauanheimo and Port of HaminaKotka Ltd have signed an agreement on the investments for the expansion of the Mussalo Bulk Terminal.

Read article

Port of Turku heads into the future despite the exceptional times

The Port of Turku looks confidently to the horizon and invests in the future. Economical, environmentally sound and modern solutions are implemented to improve the safety, smooth flow and attractiveness of passenger traffic and cargo transports.

Read article

Port of Pori – the green port of Bothnia

Port of Pori Ltd provides land rental, ship, crane and conveyor services. The Port of Pori consist of three harbors: Mäntyluoto, Tahkoluoto oil and chemical harbor and Tahkoluoto deep harbor. The depth of the Tahkoluoto fairway is 15,3 meters, making it Finland’s deepest harbor. All harbor areas can be safely approached via short and direct fairways by land and sea.

Read article

From Kämp to corona – 100 years of maritime logistics

The Finnish Shipbrokers Association, currently Shipbrokers Finland, turns 100 this year. Like the title of pilot, shipbroker is one of the oldest professional titles in Finland. But what exactly does a shipbroker do?

Read article

Commander of the Finnish Navy Jori Harju: The Baltic Sea’s strategic significance has increased

Security in the Baltic Sea region has deteriorated in recent years. More operators have entered the region, making it even more important to safeguard Finland’s sea lines of communication. The Finnish Navy is responding to these challenges with new acquisitions and closer cooperation with Sweden.

Read article

Climate Work – Waterways an Ecological Transport Mode

The European Green Deal agreement aims to ensure carbon neutrality by 2050. Climate action is essential to ensure that EU Member States live up to the commitments made in the Paris Climate Agreement, December 2015.

Read article