TopicsTechnology & EngineeringOrganization & Business modelsSociety & Health
Smart LogisticsWhat are impacts of digital technologies on the position of the port as a logistics hub?What are human capital requirements for automated logistics processes?How are synergies between port and city affected by automation and digitalization?
Responsible PortWhat are the USP’s for the port to act as circular hub?What new business models are required to create a competitive edge for the circular economy?How do the developments of the port of the future impact the city?
Smart EnergyHow can AI be used to orchestrate electrons, molecules and heat in the industrial cluster?What port governance models are needed to guide the energy transition?What are health implications of the energy transition for the city?

Scientific leads: Lex Burdorf (Erasmus MC), Rudy Negenborn (TU Delft), Rob Zuidwijk (EUR). Methodology lead: Darren McCauley (EUR).

The port of Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe accounting for approximately 40% of the share in hinterland transport. The port provides employment for over 380000 people and has a total added value of over EUR 46 bn. The port area faces tremendously complex challenges due to, amongst others, uncertainties in types and volumes of future cargo flows, types and demand for future energy carriers, tightening societal and governmental requirements on emissions and health impact, effects of global climate changes, availability of suitably skilled human capital, and the rapid emergency of new digitization technologies.

The central question is how to deal with such uncertainties and changing circumstances in supporting the port, and its surrounding ecosystem, to transition into its future leading roles. This is in particular an important question in view of the foreseen future roles of the port in terms of being a leading and worldwide recognized port optimally facilitating (1) Smart Logistics, (2) Clean Energy, and (3) Corporate Societal Responsibility (CSR).

Central in the Port Program is an interdisciplinary approach in which necessary expertise from the 3 science domains Technology & Engineering (T&E), Organization & Business models (O&B), and Society & Health (S&H) are brought together. The resulting convergence cooperation will make it possible to address such complex questions as:

  • Clean Energy Port: What type of governance is required to realize a sustainable port (O&B), which optimizes the supply of energy, based on prediction of demand (T&E), and has an accurate and adequate view on the impact of the port’s sustainability transition on workers and citizen’s health (S&H)?
  • Responsible Port: How do we realize the energy and economical transition (T&E, O&B), taking into account the impact on the urban environment (T&E, O&E, S&H) and quality of life of Port employees and City inhabitants in the area neaby (O&B, S&H)?
  • Smart Logistics Port: What are the social and legal impacts of digital technologies on the port (S&H), when developing business models aimed at self-organizing logistics (O&B), enabled by technological inclusion of autonomy and advanced decision-making system in smart ports (T&E)?