The ports industry is sensitive to economic cycles. Today these cycles are short and volatile, and ports must be flexible and resilient enough to cope with irregular ups and downs. They must also adapt to increased integration of the global supply chain.
To compete in this highly dynamic environment, terminals must adapt skilfully to the changing needs of customers, port authorities and terminal operators. Ports need to be more nimble in their operations and develop new services that set them apart from their competitors.
Driven by the need to simultaneously seek efficiencies and increase operational safety and security standards, ports are using technology to reinvent themselves and thrive in today’s digital world.
High-performance ports have consistently used technology to improve their operations, enhancing efficiency and lowering manpower requirements—from their rapid adoption of containerisation and cargo handling equipment, to leveraging information technology to manage vessels and port operations.
In Africa, where investment in port infrastructure and equipment is lagging, the use of new technologies and the introduction of field-tested practices offer ports the opportunity to enhance operations, capacity and competitiveness, and start the journey to high performance.