Strong together: community building

Working together is the buzzword for the future. If you want to build digital platforms for bringing a whole range of data together, having the agreement of the various parties involved to share the data needed is essential. Which is why the Port of Antwerp places the emphasis on building bridges. We are working on transparent data exchange, finding synergies and supporting exciting initiatives related to the Internet of Things, as well as digitisation and marine innovations. And we are doing so with the whole port community, plus the logistics chain and the city of Antwerp, University of Antwerp and IMEC, as well as with companies and organisations far beyond the immediate area.

Hack the future: Chainport Hackaton

11th to 13th October 2018 the first chainPORT hackathon  took place simultaneously at the ports of Antwerp and Los Angeles. 

During the chainPORT Hackathon, participants worked for three days and two nights in different teams on six local and worldwide challenges facing the port of tomorrow, selected by NxtPort, Port of Antwerp and AlfaPort Voka: 

  • Mobility
  • Interport and sharing data
  • Safety & security
  • Process & document flow
  • Sustainability
  • Education through gamification

More than 400 people attended the hackathon and 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)

Read all about the chainPORT Hackathon and this year's winning project

The Beacon: hotbed for creative minds and innovative ideas

The city of Antwerp has been working on the power of digital networks for some years already and on developing an ecosystem for digital innovation in which companies large and small, start-ups and scale-ups, researchers and capital providers are able to find each other.

The Beacon is the result of a collaboration agreement Capital of Things between the City and University of Antwerp, IMEC and Agoria. It brings together major technology providers in IoT, flexible start-ups and scale-ups and leading researchers at a single location. The aim is provide sustainable innovation for conventional industry and logistics.

The Port of Antwerp is also investing in The Beacon, both financially and in terms of people. Some of the Port of Antwerp staff will have a permanent pitch at The Beacon so that strong products and brands can be developed for industry, logistics and smart cities. 

The Beacon is opening for business at the end of September 2018 and will put Antwerp on the map internationally as a genuine Capital and Harbour of Things.

Read more about The Beacon



The port is a combination of logistics services. Every day goods and cargoes have to be carried as fast as possible from the inside of a ship to the quayside, or from a wharf to the hold of an oceangoing ship. 

But how does a truck driver or inland waterway operator know when he (or she) can pick up a particular container? All of the parties in the logistics chain have information that they can exchange with each other. Yet the way that data is shared can be better, more transparent and easier.

That’s what NxtPort is all about: making the exchange of data between the various players in the port faster, clearer and more efficient. NxtPort uses a data platform that assumes that everyone is working together and provides smart logistics. That way, everyone gets the right information at the right time. 

Read all about NxtPort here



PortXL is a start-up accelerator, a global hub for entrepreneurs in the logistics, maritime and energy sector. In other words, PortXL puts maritime start-ups in contact with companies at the port. 

This is done through a programme using mentors and the Port of Antwerp is also involved with PortXL. As part of the Harbour of Things, PortXL International in Antwerp is working on scouting, matching and supporting businesses in the accelerated development of maritime and port-related start-ups. In this way, the Port of Antwerp aims to introduce innovative technologies on to the port platform faster than ever before.

Six start-ups convinced representatives from DEME, MSC and Port of Antwerp after an intensive day of pitching and conversations, proving their potential for closing pilot projects: 

  • Esoptra
  • Behind the Buttons
  • Xetal NV 
  • Enervalis 
  • Waylay NV 

From November 2018 until February 2019, these start-ups will explore possibilities of smarter energy management, autonomous shipping, detection of human presence, better data orchestration and improved and standardised access management for sites and offices.

Read all about PortXL here