Wärtsilä, Tanger Med partner up on next-gen Port Management Information System

Finnish technology company Wärtsilä has partnered with Tanger Med, the largest Mediterranean and African container port, to take a new step forward in global port efficiency by co-developing a new Port Management Information System (PMIS).


Both organisations sealed their long-term commitment to deploy modern smart port tools for port operations and digitalisation – including implementing Just-In-Time (JIT) solutions, machine learning and AI as well as other innovative solutions. 

Data exchange is expected to improve operational efficiency, port safety, and environmental sustainability in shipping, including reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, according to Wärtsilä.

Photo: Wärtsilä

Port call optimisation

As explained, the new PMIS aims at addressing the needs of the maritime liners and alliances calling at Tanger Med Port Complex, to optimise their vessel calls and to use standardised master and event data.

Tanger Med is a member of the International Taskforce Port Call Optimisation, which is bringing together several international ports including Port of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and Los Angeles to harmonise and optimise procedures for the management of maritime calls.

Specifically, the joint initiative includes the delivery and installation of a Wärtsilä Navi-Harbour VTS System comprising PortLink Port Management Information System, IALA Advanced Coastal Surveillance Radars, VHF Radio Sub-System, Automatic Identification System, Operator Workstation, Network Systems, Ancillary Equipment and a five-year service and support contract.

Leading smart port development

Currently, Tanger Med is engaged in port digitalisation through different initiatives and projects. It has armed itself with advanced technology through developing its own Port Community System, which offers a range of services including port call optimisation, vessel traffic services, slot reservation and call priorities management, pilot dispatch solution and traceability.

This project takes the upgrades a further notch up with not only the new Wärtsilä Navi-Harbour VTS System, but through the installation of Wärtsilä Navi-Port, which enables Just-in-Time (JIT) arrival. JIT reduces the need for vessels to wait at anchorage, bringing down congestion and the risk of collisions, also lessening GHG and carbon emissions. Additionally, the new PMIS digitalises the entire port-call process, reducing chances of human error and increasing efficiencies.

“Tanger Med is taking another step by teaming up with Wärtsilä to develop its new PMIS. This partnership aims to support the port’s current efforts to become a leading smart port equipped with the latest technologies to improve operational efficiency, and further enhance organisation of ships’ calls and nautical services, which will be essential as port traffic increases,” Ridouan Boulaich, IT Director, Tanger Med, said.

“Tanger Med is fully committed to optimised vessel calls through digitisation…We are on course to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the port and surrounding areas, which are critical priorities for the International Maritime Organization, IALA, and the broader maritime community,” Khalid Samir, Harbormaster, Tanger Med, commented.

“It is a ground-breaking project from a technology perspective. Tanger Med Port has planned for a full and comprehensive smart port upgrade that includes not only an extensive range of our existing Ship Traffic Control products but also new solutions that will enter the market later in 2021, such as Wärtsilä Navi-Port and AIM (Advanced Intelligent Manoeuvring),” Bruce Mills, Business Development STC, Wärtsilä Voyage, added.

“PortLink is an integral player in this project… It allows users and stakeholders in the port community to exchange information in a timely manner, eliminate redundant data entry and automate workflows.” 

Green foot forward

“Improving operational efficiency, better port-call organisation and reducing congestion and emissions will be critical as port traffic increases. So, there’s a clear widening of the port authority’s traditional focus from safety to optimisation and greener operations. Digital solutions are the most cost-effective way forward,” Alex Van Knotsenborg, Director Global Sales, Wärtsilä Voyage, said.

Wärtsilä Voyage will handle all the services linked to the project, including design, delivery, testing, operations and technical training. The installation will be completed within 12 months, after which the organisations will continue to collaborate under MoU to drive further smart port development.