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Book-a-lock: Optimizing barge/ship routes and reserving dock parking spots

Our love to innovate, winner of the Port of Antwerp hackaton 'Logistics of the Future'

  • Flexso

Last weekend, the Waagnatie at “het Eilandje” in Antwerp was the battlefield for the first Port Hackaton. With “Logistics of the Future”, 220 participants in 30 teams searched for solutions for actual port problems such as cyber security, connectivity, and workers’ safety. Data sets, apps and sensors were used. Some 80 coaches helped defining the problems, and thus also the solutions to work with.
With a lot of pride and a great feeling following an amazing weekend with a great time, we can announce that Flexso has won the Logistics-Of-The-Future hackaton in the Port Of Antwerp last weekend! 

A few months ago, we saw a new challenge flashing on our radar: Hacking the port of the future, logistics of the future, … our Design & Innovation team was triggered and went looking for the perfect team to take up the challenge!

Together with the University of Antwerp and the AP Hogeschool, our team was ready and prepared on Friday. A unique combination of skills, personalities and lots of enthusiasm of course ready join super forces to tackle this 3-days hackaton.

The challenge

How can we create a berth management system that allows inland ships and ocean ships to adapt to each other’s schedule? And how do we make sure that ships with dangerous goods moor at the right quay? Can we let ships moor at a reserved spot for short periods so all the quays are used efficiently?
Ready, set … GO! Laptops are started, paper is used to draw the most awesome ideas, passion and lots of drive …

Design , Develop, Eat, Sleap, Repeat, …

The solution

BOOK-A-LOCK! A way of optimizing barge/ship routes through the port and docks, booking timeslots to pass through one or more locks, and finding dock parking spots close to your embarkment spot fully automatically , simply from your mobile app at hand on your ship. The app uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform and Geospatial technology for relating ships & docking data to geographical coordinates and plotting that on map, easy to use for the end user!

Imagine you are sailing on the Albert Kanaal to Antwerp and you have to get to the Euroports terminal. You have to pass several locks ("sluizen"), and book timeslots for each of them. When you finally arrive, you need to find a parking spot to embark and deliver the goods. BOOK-A-LOCK allows the skipper to request the optimized route from his current position (GPS) to his destination dock, automatically request timeslots at all the consecutive locks, and to get suggestions on parking spot close to his embarkment spot.
That way, the skipper will benefit from the fastest route to destination, and minimal time & money loss due to waiting times at locks and while looking for parking spots in the docks.

‘If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you’
Steve Jobs 

Result

Thanks to the team, unbelievable creative minds, designers and hackers that can make something great out of nothing, we won this Hackaton. Soon we will pitch the application before the port community.

‘Even before we won, I already said to many of you that this was the best Hackaton Flexso ever did, thanks to all of you for making this possible. Without you guys from UA and AP, this could not have been possible.’
David Pierre - Competence Lead Flexso

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