European ports gain competitive edge with InTraDE

Ports in north-west Europe are struggling to keep pace with the global growth of seaborne trade. InTraDE, Intelligent Transportation for Dynamic Environment, aims to improve productivity of the region’s small and medium-sized ports in order to boost their competitiveness.

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The InTraDE project contributes to improving traffic management and space optimisation. © Intrade The InTraDE project contributes to improving traffic management and space optimisation. © Intrade

" Because of its low investment requirement and flexibility and accessibility in operation, IAV shows strong competition in improving port efficiency, thus attracting interests from ports, especially those with the plan of developing automated container terminals. "

Prof. Rochdi MERZOUKI, InTraDE Project Manager.

Due to globalisation and the development of emerging economies, world freight trade has grown substantially in the last decade. To help meet this demand, InTraDE improves a port’s processes through traffic management, space optimisation, and by using Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (IAV).

Performance boost

IAVs automate the handling of goods and adapt to specific environment requirements, allowing it to be transferred to different sized ports and terminals. The transportation system operates in parallel with virtual simulation software of the automated site which allows a robust and real-time supervision of the goods handling operation. When these factors are combined, a port has the opportunity to increase efficiency and productivity.

InTraDE will also contribute to the effort of national and EU governments to divert some road traffic elements to maritime coastal highways by improving the efficiency of short sea shipping within the region.

Inspiring the next generation

A significant knowledge capital has been developed in the context of the project partnership. As a result, a two year International Master’s degree in robotics and transport is proposed for the next academic year.

This Master’s degree course has recently received accreditation from the French ministry of education and scientific research and is delivered jointly by two elite engineering institutions in France: Polytech-Lille and Ecole Centrale de Lille.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “InTraDE, Intelligent Transportation for Dynamic Environment,” is EUR 7 344 771, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 3 672 386 through the Operational Programme “North West Europe” for the programming period 2007 to 2013.

Draft date