Digital transformation is very important in the business world, having important impacts in any of its sectors. It is in this framework that ports and logistics within maritime transport are considered to exemplify those developments.
As actors in global supply chains, seaports are particularly affected by technological change.
Modern seaports play an important role in ensuring efficient and secure cargo flows within global logistics networks. In addition, they offer various types of value-added logistics services, such as those that facilitate the postponement strategies of global supply chains.
Digitisation in logistics is the key to becoming a smart port. For this reason, ports are committed to technology to improve and modernise the maritime transport of goods to obtain greater efficiency. However, the efficiency and security of the related cargo flows depend, to a large extent, on the associated information flows.
Digitisation has pushed the maritime industry beyond its traditional boundaries and provided new opportunities to improve logistics productivity, efficiency and sustainability. The most urgent needs of digitalisation are the realisation of investments in technology and cooperation between actors that allow the exchange of information and better coordination and collaboration, often considered an obstacle in highly competitive environments.
Therefore, the role of ports has changed drastically from its traditional function, which connected the sea and the land through loading and unloading operations, and has become an essential part of global logistics networks that manage cargo flow. And offer value-added logistics services in an efficient, effective, and environmentally friendly manner.
The main objective is to actively promote and incorporate disruptive or incremental innovation as an element of competitiveness, efficiency, sustainability, security and protection in the port-logistics sector, both public and private, to facilitate its transition towards the economy.
This system will encourage the creation or consolidation of a network of emerging companies ( start-ups ), spin-offs or new lines of business in the technological field in existing companies that develop innovative products, services or processes for the port logistics sector with a focus on the market.
Business Observation Tool(BOT) is a tool that allows you to design high-impact business ideas. In this case, the aim is to assimilate the business idea into the digitization of the port system. Thus, the ports are considered an industry: the port industry. This study aims to be an image of the current situation so that it serves as a diagnosis and allows proposals to be made for the Ports project planning in the future. We are witnessing during the covid-19 crisis what we could describe as a forced advance of the digital transformation that many companies had been postponing for a long time; ports are no strangers to this wave of digitisation.
With the use of the BOT tool, it is intended to promote the idea of digitization for the port system. The objectives pursued are two:
Know the reality of the conditions of the environment where the business has been planned to develop the port system.
Establish the possible scenarios of digitisation to evolve beyond the observed reality.
The tool is very visual, so on one side are the related factors, the observation of the target market environment (the port system), all its agents and the logistics chain it serves. On the opposite side, there are the personal elements of the person who designs the business, and below are the macro-environment factors that affect the execution of the idea. At the model’s centre, resources and motivations are found as axes that allow its viability.
The model contains factors related to the macro environment and the group work actions necessary to strengthen the business idea studied.
With this tool, therefore, the internal and external factors of digitisation in the port system are analysed so that a snapshot of the current situation is established, a diagnosis that allows future measures to be proposed. Digitisation offers enormous growth opportunities in all areas, sectors, regions and companies. It involves improving processes that increase overall efficiency and reduce costs. About half of business revenues are expected to come from digital activities in the coming years. It’s about much more than just following a new technology trend.
According to a survey by the Digital Observatory and owners of small businesses in January 2020 were not concerned about the digitalisation of their businesses. Still, other factors caused them more significant concern, most of them of an economic nature. This is why the current situation has modified this thinking, and organisational empowerment through digitisation requires a review of processes, especially in ports. Thus, the use of digital technology and the improvement of current digital skills will be needed. It should be considered that new roles will appear in the process. This process of digital empowerment is based on:
- Have the power of own decision
- Have access to information and resources to make an appropriate decision
- Have a range of options to choose from
- Have the ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision-making
- Have positive thinking and the ability to make changes
- Have the ability to learn and to improve their own personal or group power
- Have the ability to change perceptions by democratic means
- Improve self-image and overcome the stigma
- Participate in a self-initiated process of continuous growth and change