We Read with… Carles Rúa: Innovation in the maritime-port industry (part 2) 

Given the complexity, size and importance of port logistics value chains, innovation in the industry and the use of new technologies are necessary. The use of these can help coordinate ports with other maritime, land and intermodal transport agents and enable planning and execution of terminal operations, as well as with the physical and cyber security of key infrastructure within the port environment. 

How do Ports get innovation? 

In the current context, innovation has become the cornerstone to guarantee the future of the sector. In order to move forward, it is essential to create sustainable knowledge networks that promote cooperation, knowledge sharing and the creation of new solutions to improve the different parts of the port-logistics chain.  
The relationship between different agents is the basis that the Port of Barcelona has established in order to develop and evolve, as Carles Rúa told us:  

“As a port, we are promoting the idea that we need to work collaboratively with the other hubs, startups and institutions in the city…” 

Carles Rúa, Innovation Director at Port of Barcelona. 

The Port of Barcelona has very close relationships with institutions linked to innovation such as Tech Barcelona, Barcelona Activa, The Collider, among many others. And one could not speak of open innovation without seeking the collaboration of universities, research centers and business schools such as, in the case of the Port of Barcelona, IESE and ESADE, renowned universities such as UPC, UPF, UB, UAB, UOC, … and leading research centers linked to logistics and the marine environment. 
Thanks to the collaboration with these entities, they have access to meet a large number of startups with interesting and innovative solutions such as AllRead.   
The problem they usually faced is that existing solutions are not focused on the maritime sector. That is why they focus on showing existing startups that there is a business in the port sector with needs to satisfy and that their solutions could do it.  

The impact of innovative technologies  

Often, within the ports they have a lack of integration between the different actors, which is an obstacle to the possibility of having an efficient asset traceability. In addition, they have an imperative need for the use of technologies in ports such as IoT to get the maximum information they need to work.

Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence help ports to understand what is happening in the port at any given moment. Solutions like ours, based on technologies such as Deep Learning and Computer Vision, allow the automation of the sector and facilitate tasks such as asset traceability, access control or security and safety in an ecosystem as large as the port.  
Likewise, when our solution is implemented in a port it offers a positive impact on cost savings, error reduction, faster ROI and the reading of several fields simultaneously, among other things.  

Startups in the port sector 

The main problem that startups have is that they do not know anything about what happens in the port because it is not a very transparent sector, and that makes it difficult to carry out solutions. In addition, there are other aspects such as the difficulty of the sector, major regulatory problems and how established it is. This entails greater efforts to achieve a change of mentality towards a more innovative and modern port sector.  

It is essential, for a startup to enter the port authority, that there is someone internal with a specific problem that needs to be solved, and it is that department that works together with them.   
An example could be AllRead in the Port of Barcelona, they had a problem with containers, in the loading and unloading of trains, a department had a specific problem and reported it. It was then that we proposed a solution to mitigate that dilemma and we worked constantly hand in hand with the port until the solution was implemented.  
At AllRead we want to be an agent of change on the road to smart and sustainable mobility, helping ports and terminals to meet their needs, relying on the most cutting-edge technologies to achieve it. 


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