The new port infrastructure

strategic design of a container data platform for Port of Rotterdam

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Sea ports are undergoing a digital transformation, which can offer benefits for many involved stakeholders in the logistic chain. In order to stay relevant, Port of Rotterdam (PoR) should invest in developing new port infrastructure; digital connections that facilitate data exchange between logistic chain stakeholders. A strategic digital opportunity was found for PoR, design a platform that is focused on container data, which contributes to the competitive position of the port of Rotterdam and the business model of PoR. The thesis explores the design of the platform Cadex, a data platform that facilitates cargo data exchange between data suppliers, e.g. terminals and data demanders, shippers. Cadex offers shippers real-time data about their containers that enables shippers to act upon containers that deviate from the planned schedule. By making cargo data easy accessible it could save shippers significant costs that come with transport, the deprecation of their goods, the management of their logistics and their inventory. Especially in time sensitive trade, like fresh goods or factory parts this data is valuable. In addition, it could also contribute to a lower carbon footprint of shipments. The platform enables users to get data directly from the data owners (data supplies) like sea-port terminals and hinterland terminals and can therefore be labeled as reliable data. The data suppliers benefit from the revenue model the platform offers for their data and they are allowed to set their own asking price for this data, furthermore they benefit from the data they receive about their clients. PoR would directly benefit from the data exchange by charging a percentage of the price. In addition, PoR receives historical data about its clients, which improves their knowledge about the clients they serve and could be input for improvements in the port of Rotterdam. Moreover, a better customer service is offered to shippers that make use of the port of Rotterdam. The new port infrastructure Cadex offers, could improve the score of the port Rotterdam on the selection criteria and therefore, contribute to a higher competitive position. Developing this new port infrastructure is a long-term investment since the connections hold value. Once built, the infrastructure can be reused by other parties or other digital purposes with some adjustments. This makes PoR a relevant party in the digital transition. Without this new port infrastructure, PoR is more likely to be bypassed by other competing players who will reap the benefits of the digital transformation in sea-ports.