i-PORT Project

AIMES is the Lead Partner for the pan-European i-PORT project (value €2.8m) to create new IT services to improve the optimisation of inter-modal container transport in Ports.  The project is a collaboration with the European Space Agency, Avanti Communications, Peel Ports and Atlantic Containers Ltd and involves deployment of systems within the UK and Germany (Bremmenhaven).

The overall objective of the demonstration stage is to provide i-PORT services to the supporting stakeholders in an operational environment and to gather user validation which will be used to refine the services for an operational roll out. The demonstration stage will be implemented in six European Ports; Liverpool, Southampton, Bremenhaven, Felixstowe, Wilhelmhaven and London (Tilbury) and this will provide the demonstration project with sufficient scale to be able to fully evaluate the potential for a commercial system implementation.

The i-PORT system constitutes four modules. Each module constitutes several services. Some of these services require external data or other services. The services provide interfaces to communicate with the other services inside the same module but also with other modules. Each service is accessed by the actors in a different way, through different applications. The four modules are:

  • Tracking;
  • ETA and  Route Planning;
  • Job Management and Electronic Documentation;
  • Dynamic Vehicle Booking System.
The Tracking module retrieves the location of the vessels and of the trucks. It uses satellite AIS data to track the vessels and also uses GPS data to track the trucks. This information can then be displayed on a map to the relevant actors to help them to plan requisite resources and to be used by the ETA service and in due course the DVBS service below.

The ETA and Route Planning module will take into account the location of the truck, the destination of the truck and will use an HGV-optimised route planner to calculate the most suitable route. The computation will also take into account traffic information to either provide a new route or to take into account the delay for the calculating the ETA. Port terminals, hauliers and shipping lines will be able to view a list of trucks – according to the systems ETA calculation

Job Management and Electronic Documentation will focus on collecting data related to transport jobs for container import or export and providing this data to the DVBS service so that i-PORT can match the vehicles to the bookings at the ports.

The Dynamic Vehicle Booking System module will complement existing Vehicle Booking Systems (VBS) or reservations systems by enabling adjustment of vehicle slots in the port terminal.  I-Port will provide a framework/component that will enable currently deployed systems to be dynamic.  In case there is no currently deployed system, i-PORT will provide a VBS with standard functionalities offered by existing systems or a link to the port/terminal reservation or pre-announcement system if that exists.