British leading port group accelerates digital transformation

2022/08/23 at 3:43 PM

Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading port group, intends to digitise operations at its 21 facilities. To this end, it will implement several solutions developed by Wärtsilä, the Finland-based technology group. The Port of Southampton will become the first harbour where the dedicated systems will be put into operation.

Wärtsilä and the Associated British Ports (ABP) will cooperate on a basis of the five-year-long framework agreement, which was concluded earlier this summer. “The project aims to accelerate the digital transformation of port calls and operations, making them as efficient, sustainable and safe as possible,” the Finnish technology specialist stated.

Container ship in the Port of Southampton, source: Associated British Ports (ABP)

“This new agreement will help ABP maintain its competitive advantage now and into the future. Holistic and seamless technology solutions are critical to ensuring that ports, and the maritime industry more broadly, are ahead of the curve in terms of supply chain modernisation, that operations are future-proofed, and that data underpins decisions. The scope and scale of what we can achieve with ABP is very exciting, and we’re pleased to be working together,” said Sean Fernback, President of Wärtsilä Voyage, a part of the technology group Wärtsilä.

Digital solutions

Several digital solutions, developed by Wärtsilä Voyage, were chosen for implementation in the British ports running by ABP. Navi-Port, Navi-Harbour Vessel Traffic Services, and Port Management Information System (PMIS) will help ABP employees meet their targets, complement the company’s safety culture during port operations and optimise vessel planning and movements, which can have a positive impact on local, national and global supply chains.


The project, which began in June, will span multiple phases across all of ABP’s ports. Wärtsilä’s Vessel Traffic Services system and Port Management Information System are expected to be integrated into the Port of Southampton before April 2023, with other solutions subsequently being deployed across ABP’s other 20 ports. The agreement with ABP includes an ongoing human factor review to ensure the existing control room environment is optimised for people’s needs and is fully compliant with all national and international standards and guidelines.

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