Port of Antwerp looks for solution to challenges during first chainPORT hackathon

Publication date: 
13 Oct 2018

The port of tomorrow is a smart port with a leading role for innovation and digitization. The chainPORT hackathon was held from 11 to 13 October for the first time simultaneously in the ports of Antwerp and Los Angeles. The Antwerp segment is an initiative of AlfaportVoka, Antwerp Port Authority and NxtPort. More than 400 participants, divided into teams, looked for creative solutions to the local and worldwide challenges of the port of tomorrow. The winning team, from the company Rombit, developed a solution for the optimalisation of the specified 'Expected Time of Arrival' (ETA).

2 days and nights to hack challenges

Last Thursday, participants gathered for the first chainPORT hackathon which held simultaneously in Antwerp and Los Angeles. For 2 days and nights 35 teams and coaches from the businesslife and the academic world, tackled local and worldwide port-related challenges such as mobility, security, sustainability and data sharing between world ports.

Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Antwerp Port Authority: “Innovation is a powerful instrument as a response to the rapidly changing world. As the port of Antwerp and a world player, we are endeavouring to be and to remain a frontrunner in the development of innovative concepts. We want to be prepared for the future, with a port where smart technologies are deployed so that operations at sea and on land can be carried in a smarter, smoother and more efficient manner. We are continuously working toward that goal ourselves but also call on partners as much as possible the capitalize on their insight and knowhow. This hackathon, which is open to anyone who wanted to think along with us, is a concrete case in point."

Winning project has a solution for the optimalisation of the ETA

Composed of Hans Verbeeck (Nxtport), Erwin Verstraelen (Antwerp Port Authority), Sven Devocht (Alfaport-Voka) and Serge Auclair (Port of Montreal), the panel of judges chose a winner from among the 35 solutions created. The choice fell on the proposal of the team of Rombit, that developed a sollution for the optimization of the specified ETA . The winning team went home with €5000 in prize money and a fully-fledged B2B mentoring programme.

Erwin Verstraelen: “Many creative and innovative ideas were presented today, but this one clearly stood out for us. Their solution for the optimalisation of the specified ETA can make a concrete contribution to a future-proof port. We will get down to work together with them to develop their idea further and put it into practice.”

ChainPORT initiative

The chainPORT initiative is a unique cooperation between various port authorities throughout the world: Antwerp, Barcelona, Busan, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Montreal, Rotterdam, Shenzhen and Singapore. ChainPORT aspires to develop advanced processes and technologies so as to shape the future of the port sector.