The Alborán Hotel in Algeciras was the venue for the last lunch-colloquium organized by the Propeller Club of Algeciras and held last Tuesday, November 22. The lunch-colloquium dealt on this occasion with logistics innovations and port digital transformation. Jesús Medina, CIO of the Algeciras Bay Port Authority, and Mafran Martínez, CTO of the Port Authority of Huelva, participated in the event.
The colloquium was articulated around the conference “Digitalization and a brave new world: fact or fiction?”, where both experts shared their experiences in the implementation of initiatives aimed at optimizing the operation of the logistics-port chain, in a debate moderated by Carlos Fenoy, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Campo de Gibraltar.
Jesús Medina explained, to the members and attendees, the pillars of the digital innovation strategy of the Algeciras Bay Port Authority and the stages that have been followed to achieve the objectives set out in the strategy. Thus, in a first phase (2014 – 2017) the port digital maturity was increased with projects such as the Port Management System (PMS) that allows the capture of events in real-time and began to innovate through the implementation of several projects. In a second stage, it is intended to maximize the impact of innovation and digital transformation in the Port Community with projects such as the new Port Community System (PCS), with an investment of more than 10 million euros and, in addition, it is intended to consolidate innovation as a systematic process, continuous over time and that transcends the entire Port Community, beyond the Port Authority itself. In this sense, Medina advanced that the Port of Algeciras is currently working to set up an Innovation Committee with all the stakeholders of the Port Community of Algeciras, a think tank to expose and share challenges, ideas and solutions, in favor of open innovation. During the presentation, the role played by data for the management of supply chains in multinationals such as Inditex or Amazon was also highlighted, where visibility and traceability allows to offer value to their respective customers and how the Port of Algeciras is prepared to assimilate this situation.
For his part, Mafran Martínez shared how the Port of Huelva is facing the challenge of digital transformation, identifying needs and opportunities, and expressed the need to speed up the process by taking “2 steps instead of 1”. Likewise, the Port of Huelva has developed an ambitious innovation program and has its own innovation center, La Lonja de la innovación, the first port Fiware node in the world.
The experts concluded the conference by highlighting the enormous potential of digitization and innovation for the sake of sustainability, cost reduction, improved productivity and competitiveness of port facilities. Pointing out that innovation must be framed in the respective port strategic plans and that technology should not be an end in itself, in Medina’s own words “Innovation is a key process for the business”.
As stated by the organizers, the event was a fantastic opportunity for the creation of synergies, the sharing of great projects and the discussion of the challenges of the future of the logistics-port sector, among the more than fifty attendees.