BT and ABP launch IoT trial at the Port of Ipswich

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BT has partnered with Associated British Ports (ABP) to launch an IoT trial at the Port of Ipswich.

The trial will explore how the IoT can help to digitise the port’s logistics and operations processes and speed up the movement and processing of goods.

Andrew Harston, Region Director, Wales and Short Sea Ports, Associated British Ports, said: 

“The trial with BT is an exciting step in the Port of Ipswich’s journey to becoming a smart port.

The data generated by the Internet of Things solution gives the team in Ipswich the power to manage our resources and assets more effectively, improving our productivity and reducing our costs.

Ultimately this trial will help us to provide even better customer service.”

An increasing number of the UK’s ports are becoming “freeports” that enable companies to import goods tariff-free and only pay once they’re sold into the domestic market. Alternatively, the goods can be exported onwards without paying UK tariffs.

The Chancellor’s recent decision to grant the nearby Felixstowe and Harwich ports freeport status extends to Ipswich, Colchester, Stowmarket, and other surrounding areas. The decision is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs, bring in billions of pounds of investment over the next decade, and attract more business to the area.

To cope with the increasing demand and maximise the opportunities ahead from freeports and new trade deals – such as the one recently signed with Australia – ports will need to turn to IoT technologies.

Dean Terry, Managing Director, Corporate and Public Sector, BT’s Enterprise unit, commented: 

“It’s fantastic to see the early success of our partnership with ABP as we support their ambitions for the Port of Ipswich to become a leading smart port.

In deploying our IoT solution, we’re able to help produce intelligent, actionable insights to support the teams on the ground to monitor equipment in real-time, and make instant, autonomous decisions to speed up the supply chain.

This is made possible by combining our award-winning 4G EE network with our deep expertise in sensor technology, network infrastructure, and supply chains.”

BT and ABP installed IoT devices on cranes and transport equipment across the port. Data collected from the sensors include time, distance travelled, route taken, and the weight of unloaded goods.

The data is visualised on BT’s Intelligent Asset Platform which allows port management to track the progress of ship-to-shore operations and enable them to make rapid, data-driven decisions.

Beyond asset tracking, the data also helps to highlight the underutilisation of equipment and determine their maintenance requirements to limit downtime and reduce costs.

(Image Credit: BT)

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