Antwerp, 8 February 2018. Brabo, responsible for pilotage and mooring in the port of Antwerp, makes a significant investment in digital technology. Together with innovation partner Rombit, it will integrate vessel locations, time of arrivals, routes and schedules into one single digital platform. This project supports the evolution towards a ‘harbour of things’, a smart port in Antwerp with a future-proof infrastructure.

Guiding vessels when entering or exiting the port of Antwerp has been Brabo’s core business for decades. To answer to the significant increase in traffic, Brabo will further digitise its operations.

Total oversight

Ronny Detienne, CEO Brabo explains: “We want to optimise the schedules of our staff, reduce the waiting times for the shipping companies to a minimum and quickly respond to changing situations. A clear and total oversight is therefore essential. In addition, we will extensively analyse all our activities by using image, sound and data. This way we collect a wealth of information for our future pilots and boatmen. To realise all of this, we partner with Antwerp-based Rombit. This technology company has demonstrated the necessary know-how to make large organisations future-proof in a very short timeframe.”

Real-time platform

Jorik Rombouts, CEO Rombit: “A transparent, digital platform generates significant efficiency gains. In this case, we create a real-time platform with all vessel locations, expected times of arrivals, routes and work schedules. To achieve this, we integrate existing and new data streams in a single user-friendly 3D-map display.

International interest

In the next phase, other players in the port ecosystems can equally enjoy Brabo’s new ‘open’ platform. Other ports have also expressed their interest. At the end of April, Brabo and Rombit will jointly present the project at the bi-annual international congress of IMPA (International Maritime Pilots’ Association) in Dakar.