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Customer Story

Europe’s Largest Port Dives Deep Into Smart-Powered, Secure Information Flows

Port of Rotterdam enhances supply chain security and compliance with a strong digital strategy and smart infrastructure initiatives

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Trade and Transport


The Port of Rotterdam is both the heart of Europe’s logistics chain and its largest seaport. Its history dates back to the 14th century when a canal was built connecting four waterways. The 105-square kilometer port itself is divided into five sectors with different companies presiding over various parts of the port and its distribution parks. It is operated and managed by the Port Authority of Rotterdam, which oversees all logistics, distribution, storage, and freight transport. This includes nearly 440 million tons of goods in 2020 alone. The Port plans to invest € 1.5 billion towards meeting energy goals, infrastructure, and digitization in the next five years.

Keep up with the constantly changing dynamics of logistics and supply chain
Optimize communication, efficiency, and security
Use gamification to build better workflows

Cutting Edge, Always A Step Ahead

Maintaining not only European trade flows but also global business 24/7, securely, and quickly has always been at the forefront of what the Port of Rotterdam does. In keeping up with an ever-changing market, the Port called on Xebia to help achieve greater compliance and efficiency without compromising quality for speed. First, the Port needed a cutting-edge data architecture. This would improve infrastructure and logistics and ultimately, save costs while lessening waste and lag time. It would also ensure teams worked together towards a compliance framework that met stakeholders’ needs as well as the Port’s need to maintain growth and reach sustainability goals.

Embracing Possibilities

Finding a streamlined path forward for the Port of Rotterdam meant starting with a blank slate. An audit showed that PoR’s digital business solutions team needed improved controls to protect the Port’s assets and overall performance. Accordingly, they hired Xebia’s security transformation specialist Dave van Stein to lead the initiative. Bob Madlener, DBS operations manager said of Dave: “We liked his approach. We needed someone who could help us overcome the hurdles we would experience on this journey.” Van Stein's first task was to simplify processes so the most effective compliance models were put into play. The team worked with an innovation funnel to assess these possibilities and then scaled from there using a compliance roadmap.

“To ensure efficient use of this infrastructure and realize cost savings among the carriers, digitization is essential. This will also lead to better control and management of the port and its infrastructure, and improved insight into logistic processes.”
Port of Rotterdam
Bob Madlener Software Development and Operations Manager, DBS

Accommodate Growth through Gamification

When the Rotterdam Logistics Lab (RLL) became the DBS, the aim was to focus on compliance in addition to speed and efficiency. This emphasis, coupled with Xebia’s security framework, helped the Port digitize its infrastructure. It ensured that security-minded engineers and teams worked together to combat threats to the Port. Xebia’s security transformation specialist, Dave van Stein opted for gamification strategies to achieve cohesion among the different teams. Each step of the process included a backlog to work through. The team that completed the task first received a shield. This way of working with Agile practices created greater reliability and connection among teams. The end resulted in optimizing and simplifying processes with a greater focus on security and sustainability.

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