On 20 March 2022, the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) launched a new initiative that aims to automate operations in the country’s ports.
During the launching ceremony of the Smart Ports initiative, Mawani signed three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with telecommunications firms Ericsson and Huawei, port operator Saudi Global Ports Company (SGP), the Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company (RSGT) and port developer and operator DP World.
As explained, the main goal of these agreements is to make Saudi ports “a pioneer” in applying modern technologies and enhancing their competitiveness at the regional as well as at the international levels in the field of automated handling, serving importers and exporters, providing logistics services within the maritime transport industry, and enhancing the Kingdom’s role in the logistics sector.
Under the three agreements, all parties will cooperate in accelerating and implementing 5G technology in both the logistics and operation sector in an effort to contribute to the automation of port operations.
The partners will also cooperate in providing communications and information technology services as well as infrastructure, cloud computing services development, cybersecurity, application services, and platforms.
Mawani said it will work with the aforementioned partners to activate the innovation, research and developing methodology for emerging technologies, starting from the stage of producing creative ideas to the stage of developing a technical conception and feasibility study for applicable ideas that will in its role result in new products and solutions that will contribute to upgrading the operational system and raising the quality of performance of the Saudi ports network.
“Today, Saudi ports are entering a crucial stage of transforming into automated Smart Ports by adopting the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with their advanced applications besides relying on AI technology, IoT and technologies of 5G with the aim of raising the efficiency of the operational performance of Saudi port network and developing the marine transport system to enhance the Kingdom’s presence on the global logistics services map,” Omar bin Talal Hariri, President of Saudi Ports Authority, commented.
Bin Tala Hariri added that local ports play a pivotal role in achieving the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 to increase the gross domestic product share of non-oil exports from 16% to 50%, especially since the ports account for more than 90% of the Saudi export movement.
This movement constitutes an influential hub in diversifying sources within the national economy, noting that the shift to Smart Ports will contribute in an unexpected way to stimulating and attracting investments in the sectors of ports, marine transport, logistics services, and developing the movement of Saudi exports and imports to and from local and global markets.
He also pointed out that the Smart Ports initiative is one of “the great results” of the corporate strategy of the Mawani that was launched during the past few months, with objectives derived from the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy and from Saudi Vision 2030 in developing a sustainable maritime sector.
He explained that the initiative will contribute to preserving the marine environment through the adoption of clean and renewable energy and implementing the latest technology equipment in all operational processes in domestic ports.
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