Wärtsilä to digitalise Associated British Ports’ maritime operations


Wärtsilä Voyage, part of the technology group Wärtsilä, has signed a prestigious contract for a five-year framework agreement with Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading ports group, to digitalise operations at its 21 ports.

The project aims to accelerate the digital transformation of port calls and operations, making them as efficient, sustainable and safe as possible. The Wärtsilä Voyage technologies chosen for the project; 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.

Sean Fernback, President, Wärtsilä Voyage commented: “ABP truly understands how impactful technology can be in the maritime industry and its innovative approach has cemented its position as the UK’s leading ports group. This new agreement will help ABP maintain its competitive advantage now and into the future.

Holistic and seamless technological 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.”

After a thorough international procurement process where all major suppliers of port optimisation solutions were invited to tender, ABP chose to collaborate with Wärtsilä Voyage, the cutting-edge technology developer accelerating the digital transformation of the maritime industry.

Wärtsilä Voyage’s clear vision on how to enable ABP to become an early adopter of state-of-the-art port management solutions, while also ensuring a strong return on investment aligned with the goals and ambitions of ABP.

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.

The framework agreement, valid for at least the next five years, formalises a shared vision and commitment from both organisations to develop modern smart port applications through extensive and long-term collaboration.

Harm Van Weezel, Chief Information Officer at ABP said: “We are delighted to be working with Wärtsilä on a programme that really delivers towards our vision of a modern, digital port. Wärtsilä’s approach – forming a deep and long-term partnership that is mutually beneficial to both organisations – really stood out to everyone at ABP. We are looking forward to the vast benefits this programme will bring.”

Håkan Agnevall, President & CEO, Wärtsilä Corporation added: “This is a landmark contract that will have a profound impact on the sustainability, resilience and efficiency of global supply chains. Digitalisation offers great potential for the maritime industry to reach its ambitious emissions reductions targets. That is why the expertise within Wärtsilä Voyage plays such an important role in the pathway to zero emissions and continues to be integral to Wärtsilä’s strategy to generate genuine and long-term change for our sector.”