With our PROAS project, we aim to develop a Ship & Infrastructure Operations Forecasting System. The system is to be based on a predictive safety and efficiency tool for port operations that can assess the physical environment, the planning of ship calls to port and scheduled operations.
Due to the fact that there are currently no known techniques or commercial tools that can comprehensively cover either the functional or technological needs that we have posed, the project was begun under the auspices of Public Procurement of Innovation.
Port efficiency and safety have a direct impact on the supply and logistics chains they play a part of: a ports actual surroundings (wind, waves and currents, etc.) can wreak havoc with port business (production losses, operational shut-downs), with adverse financial consequences.
Based on the available data of the physical environment gleaned from our Independent Measurement, Forecast & Alert System (SAMPA) as well as from other specific supplementary data APBA would like to identify and predict the impact that the elements have on our port operations.
At present, ship operability in ports is restricted by a threshold value that is a function of fixed weather values or specific ship movements (maximum wind speed, maximum wave height, etc.). The evolution that we are proposing at APBA is to tie these threshold values to efficiency and safety pointers, and also to terms of Areas of Operational Interest (AOIs): i.e., the elements, ship-type and the operation itself.
In conclusion, this pioneering tool should enable the players involved in port operations to anticipate adverse scenarios, whether by re-planning operations and assigning resources to supply a desirable level of service or by reinforcing the safety and security measures at our port.
Hopefully, the projects end-product will be a predictive tool based on forecasts from the elements that can give us an insight into their impact on our ports operational safety and efficiency, port call planning and scheduled operations.
The software tool that is found to contain the ground-breaking solution should provide safety and efficiency indicators (possible failure modes, operational shut-downs, operational performance, etc.) in order to determine the beginning and length of port operations with greater accuracy.
Below is a breakdown of the intermediate results we aim to achieve:
- Key safety and efficiency indicators for each operation: to be gleaned from the historical analysis and in consultation with logistics businesses; to be used to determine the operational safety and productivity status.
- Methodology to assess said indicators: a process is to be defined to evaluate and predict operational safety and efficiency according to environmental, operational and ship-response conditions.
- Operational safety and efficiency thresholds: the previous methodology is to be employed to glean the chosen limit values and indicators.
- AOI modelling and tool development: a model is to be developed to enable us to predict indicators. This should be submitted by software that, initially, works on one specific AOI (the prototype) and then becomes extensive to the remainder of AOIs in later stages.
The end-purpose of the project should ultimately allow us to:
- Determine operability with at least 48 hours foresight, and take into consideration any possible shutdowns that affect productivity.
- Define operations via safety and efficiency indicators.
- Simplify the main players decision-making processes when carrying out loading and unloading, technical-nautical or ship supply activities.
As well as the novelty and impact that this soon-to-be developed and implemented solution will have on Port of Algeciras Bay business, the project has become a PPI milestone the first innovation project tendered by Public Procurement of Innovation and Competitive Dialogue in the history of the Spanish Port Network.
The tender process was tailor-made for such innovation projects: projects that encourage supply-side innovation and open a formal dialogue with the industry itself to decide on a solution and prepare final specifications together.