Wärtsilä moves forward with smart port ecosystem vision
Wärtsilä Voyage, part of the Finnish technology group Wärtsilä, has decided to acquire PortLink Global, a Canada-based port solutions company.
As explained, the move will speed Wärtsilä Voyage along its path towards creating an end-to-end connected maritime ecosystem in which intelligent port logistics solutions play a nodal role.
The transaction was signed and closed in June 2022.
PortLink and Wärtsilä Voyage have already collaborated on projects including the co-development of a next-generation Port Management Information System (PMIS) for the largest Mediterranean and African port, Tanger Med, the Callao Port Authority (Peru) modernisation project, and the delivery of Brazil’s first Smart Port Solution at Porto do Acu.
“Bringing PortLink into Wärtsilä Voyage isn’t just about expanding our portfolio, but further strengthening our expertise in the smart port sector by bringing in highly experienced people into our team. Their domain expertise and portfolio perfectly complement Wärtsilä Voyage’s smart ports vision — a critical piece in our larger ambition of building an end-to-end connected ship-to-shore logistic management and voyage optimisation ecosystem,” Sean Fernback, President, Wärtsilä Voyage and Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä, commented.
Founded in 2007, PortLink is a leading provider of port efficiency solutions, including Port Management Information Systems (PMIS), Port Community Systems (PCS), Pilotage Dispatch systems and Local Port Services (LPS).
“Since its inception, PortLink has grown many folds by establishing deep roots in the port operations solution segment with proven services and a solid track record. Joining Wärtsilä Voyage creates ideal opportunities for the next spurt of expansion,” Evgeny Vdovin, CEO, PortLink, said.
“We share a common vision; one of improving operational efficiency, port safety, and environmental sustainability in shipping by reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. The PortLink team has significant competencies in technology, along with a globally recognised portfolio in … Port Management Information Systems, Smart Port tools for port operations and digitalisation – including implementing Just-In-Time solutions, machine learning and AI. Adding these to the extensive, world leading Wärtsilä portfolio of services and products provides an unparalleled opportunity for a new ecosystem of port operations,” Vdovin added.
This acquisition is seen a significant step taking Wärtsilä Voyage closer to achieving its purpose of enabling sustainable societies through innovation in technology and services.
PortLink’s PMIS and PCS solutions in tandem with Wärtsilä Voyage’s solutions will help connect the dots across the entire ecosystem. The holistic approach will enable better ship-to-shore coordination — optimising routes and vessel speed based on real-time weather and port readiness information, which can result in reductions in fuel consumption and emissions, according to the company.
“The ambition is to implement a port community system that goes beyond internal stakeholders within the port, and even includes the broader community,” Bruce Mills, Business Development Manager, Ship Traffic Control at Wärtsilä Voyage, said.
“The access levels to information will differ based on roles and requirements but having all stakeholders on the same secured platform is absolutely essential to orchestrate global operations.”