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Port of Seville, SENER Lead Project to Integrate Sea & Land Transport

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By The Maritime Executive 2019-10-29 12:33:48

The APS (Port Authority of Seville) has launched the AIRIS II-Synchro project, which has as main objective to integrate the synchromodality between sea and land transport (ships, trains and lorries) in the supervision of the waterway and the management of operations at the docks.

Up to 2022, the Port Authority will coordinate a set of studies and prototypes to promote multi-modality and to improve navigation and the level of security of port operations, in both sea and land transport, under the technical lead of the engineering company SENER and together with the universities of Seville and Malaga and the technology-based companies Serviport and Siport21.

As a new development, the AIRIS II-Synchro project will improve real-time control and coordination of the different modes of transport and develop multimodal planning between ships, trains and lorries. This will be achieved by integrating systems and databases extracted from digitising the waterway (object of the first AIRIS project) and the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), as well as from port terminals existing management systems.

On the technological side, SENER will contribute with its experience in the field of designing and integrating road and railway ITS systems, but, above all, with its knowledge on port operations. In this sense, a novelty within the AIRIS II-Synchro project will be SENER leading the development and implementation of a pilot application that provides an improved real-time control and coordination of the different modes of transport, by developing a multimodal planning between ships, trains and lorries. This will be achieved by integrating systems and databases extracted from digitising the waterway and the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), as well as from port terminals existing management systems.

AIRIS II-Synchro will also provide the port with land-traffic planning and management tools and will conduct navigation studies to optimise the speed and channel's depth, to know in a more precise manner the tides -with additional phenomena such as meteorological tides or river discharges- and to specify more precise arrival time estimations for vessels (ETAs). All this will involve greater coordination in operations, cost savings in logistics and timesaving in the movement of goods.

AIRIS II-Synchro has a budget of 1.7 million euros co-financed in 50% by the European mechanism CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) in the 2018 call.

The President of the Port Authority of Seville, Rafael Carmona, highlighted, "Investing in new technologies will enable us to optimise the use of the waterway's capacity and the port infrastructures." Carmona has recognised that "this technology if well-applied will help us be more efficient and competitive and will perfect current developments, especially those that promote the combination of modes of transport, both land and sea, in a single trip."

According to Xavier Pascual, SENER's Director of Ports and Water, “This is the second contract that SENER executes for the Port of Seville within the AIRIS framework, after starting in 2018 the AIRIS I project, by means of which the RIS standards are being implemented according to the recommendations of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC), of which SENER is a member. With AIRIS II, we are taking it one step further, as we are developing systems that will allow integrating the different modes of transport that converge in the Port of Seville into a digital synchromodal platform. This will help integrate and optimise sea-land operations, which will have a significant impact on the efficiency of the different port agents. In addition, SENER's participation as a partner in the consortium reaffirms its commitment to R&D in the port environment and its willingness to lead the technological and digital change in ports. With AIRIS II, the Port of Seville will become one of the most modern and technological ports in the world."

An increasingly technological port

The Port Authority of Seville already began taking the first steps in applying new technologies to port management in 2014, as part of the Tecnoport 2025 project.

In early 2018, the APS began working on digitising the Guadalquivir river under the AIRIS I-PS project. The purpose of this initiative, co-financed with the CEF in the 2015 call, has been to implement the RIS (River Information Services) European standard with the aim of expanding the knowledge on the waterway and improving its management.

Plans are that the pilot projects of this first AIRIS project be operational at the beginning of 2020. This technology monitors the river's parameters, such as the height of the water surface, the currents and tides, and the water quality. It also provides further information on river traffic (characteristics of the ships and their cargoes, detection of possible obstacles to navigation, etc.) and facilitates traffic management by optimising the human and material resources involved in navigation.

"The Port of Seville is at the forefront of the new technologies applied to port management, and it is leading pioneering projects applicable to other ports of the European port system," highlighted Rafael Carmona. "With AIRIS I and II we are making great progress in commercial and logistics activity; we are improving the efficiency of the port's operations and capacity," stressed the President.

Strategic port

The Port Authority is also developing other projects that have European support and are aimed at promoting multi-modality and favouring sea and land connectivity. Due to the strategic nature of the Port of Seville for the European Union, the CEF mechanism is promoting other initiatives, such as Ferro Port System II (FPS II), which will deploy an intelligent system for railway management.

Furthermore, together with other institutions, bodies and companies, the APS is participating in the I RAIL project that will adapt railway operations to European regulations thanks to digitisation and the implementation of the TAF TSI European standards in the exchange of information.

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