The Ports 4.0 program is successfully completed​

An initiative led by the Spanish Ports Authority

The Ports 4.0 is an innovation program lead by the Spanish Ports Authorities. Its goal is to innovate within ports and the logistic operations around them. For this purpose they offer different grants depending on the maturity level of the project, ranging from just an idea or concept to a an already fully commercial project. To facilitate the success of the different projects a series of events at the different ports got together the different profiles within ports and the local supply chains. In such an environment where ideas can be discussed and the challenges can be faced it really facilitates deploying effective solutions. Its ultimate goal is the technological advancement and the improvement of the competitiveness of the Spanish ports.

In late 2020 the Shellock team submitted the application to participate in the program. It was requested at that time to submit the details of the concept that later evolved to the ‘eShell’ and our platform. It was just a general draft of our vision, how were we approaching the problems in the industry and our plans to make it a success. The presented project was far from perfect and the first results definitely pointed towards different areas that should be improved. More about it later. We were selected as part of the first edition of the program, under the general ideas category.

The Shellock team worked together with the Port of Bilbao and especially its innovation team of the Bilbao PortLab. Their role as facilitators of the program in the region was to connect the participating projects selected by the Ports 4.0 with the companies in the local ecosystem, and to assists the participants in the different challenges of deploying a solution at a port. The activities ranged from educational webinars to workshops and direct interviews with different profiles of the port to have our idea challenged from a multidisciplinary angle.

As part of the program we pitched our idea to different companies that might benefit from our solution. The first feedback we received was not very positive and this saw the team working hard to overcome the challenges and develop the product into a solution capable of improving the operational efficiency. After some tests the solution was ready to be deployed. 3 pilots were conducted with companies covering different activities within the Port of Bilbao: Progeco Bilbao, Containerships and Erhardt Projects. With each company we were able to test and measure the performance of different transits inside the port, its terminal, the hinterland and internationally around Europe. The insights from the collected data enabled the companies to measure their performance and improve their operations. More on that on each case study article.

As part of the program we pitched our idea to different companies that might benefit from our solution. The first feedback we received was not very positive and this saw the team working hard to overcome the challenges and develop the product into a solution capable of improving the operational efficiency. After some tests the solution was ready to be deployed. 3 pilots were conducted with companies covering different activities within the Port of Bilbao: Progeco Bilbao, Containerships and Erhardt Projects. With each company we were able to test and measure the performance of different transits inside the port, its terminal, the hinterland and internationally around Europe. The insights from the collected data enabled the companies to measure their performance and improve their operations. Find these and other use cases in here.

What was at the beginning of the program just a draft, by its completion it was a fully developed and working solution. Our presented idea was about tracking  shipping containers and improving its security. After the learnt lessons from working closely with the facilitator and the different companies, our solution was able to extract data from different sources, analyze it and provide insights to improve operations. A result far better than we anticipated and that encouraged us to pursue further the development of our solution and its commercialization.

This picture summarises our journey. As part of the 2022 Barcelona SIL, the Port of Barcelona and TechTour organised an event for innovators within the maritime ecosystem, where our CEO Carlos Garces met with Jose Llorca, head of innovation of the Ports of Spain. After being successfully deployed in more than 30 countries and a number of scenarios, the eShell was more than ready to cross the seas and digitalise shipments. Jose is here holding our eShell, the result of the completion of the Ports 4.0 program.

The Ports 4.0 is run yearly. You can check the following editions in https://ports40.es/.