The Internet of Things, a recent concept in global business, seems to be generating greater interest in every industry.  The port sector is one of the most vital aspects of business for many European cities.  Many industries in trade, tourism, and commerce rely on these ports for business.  As these industries continue to advance technologically, including the use of the Internet of Things, ports are now becoming Smart Ports.

The purpose of smart ports is to be completely automated, connecting everything via the Internet of Things (IoT) with major benefits, such as increased productivity and efficiency gains.  It will also help to solve the issues of spatial and time constraints for vessels going in and out of ports.  While smart ports will not be able to magically create more space in ports, it will help to make them more efficient and productive.


The Port of Hamburg has taken the futuristic leap into the world of smart ports.  The plan for Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) was to increase the efficiency of existing routes rather than building new railways, roads, and canals.  The infrastructure upgrade was done in 2011 when 300 roadway sensors were put into place across the port area.  This was expanded to widen monitoring capabilities, enabling the data analytics to provide comprehensive support to complete vital managerial tasks.  HPA has been able to optimise port utilisation and increase efficiency to maximise revenue.  Hamburg’s great success shows that smart ports are the ports of the future.