Esri and Port of Rotterdam talk energy efficient future

Rotterdam Esri 2018
Photo from Esri Business Summit Faces Board

At this year’s Esri User Conference there was plenty to see.  From start-up companies trying to blaze a new path through all that data we keep generating, to non-profits trying to help save the planet, there were thousands of people there on hand to learn how GIS can help with whatever problem they may have.  There were many stand out moments, including the mini science symposium, and hands on learning opportunities, but one that was particularly worth noting this year was the talk that Erwin Rademaker gave during Business Summit, on the upcoming changes that will be taking place at the Port of Rotterdam.

With its final expansion now underway, the Port of Rotterdam is looking towards the future with virtually all aspects of its design.  As Rademaker said in his presentation, the future of the port will soon see use of autonomous shipping vessels, and the implementation of “smart containers” that will allow for a start to finish tracking of all cargo that is sent in and out of the port.  All these updates, and changes, will require high tech computer systems, and a state of the art energy grid.

To that end, the port is following through on its promise to build a more sustainable port; a port of the future if you will.  One that will not only uphold the sustainable energy future that the Dutch people have long been working towards, but that will also ultimately move the port towards being Carbon Neutral.

To help with building this future, the port is now taking steps to help ensure that they create most, if not all (soon enough), of the energy that the port requires.  They have already installed wind turbines, and solar panels in and on the facility.  However, this project is also being expanded into the water, with the formation of floating solar panel arrays.

Port of Rotterdam Zonnepanelen - Jarno Klerks
Floating Solar Array – Port of Rotterdam – courtesy of Jarno Klerks

In the next ten years, the Port of Rotterdam plans to take advantage of its partnership with IBM, Cisco, and Esri to essentially build what some might call a “smart” port.  The logistics of tracking and maintaining cargo, ships, and energy resources will take a monumental effort.  However, with the process already underway, the success of this project seems to be at hand.