French Smart Port in Med Initiative: Traxens Facilitates the Digital Transition of the Port of Marseille

Traxens, an Internet of Things (IoT) company, has joined the French Smart Port in Med initiative as an associate partner, to support the digital transition of the Port of Marseille. Some key strategic objectives of this collaboration include ensuring the economic and environmental improvement of the port and its ecosystem, creating new job opportunities, strengthening the relationship between the port and the local community, and positioning the Port of Marseille as an innovative digital port in the Mediterranean.

Traxens provides high-value data and services for the supply chain industry to improve their operational efficiencies. The company has a major presence in the port industry as it provides supply chain solutions, such as geotracking services for smart containers, wagons, or trailers and offers data on location, status, and environment of logistics.

MarketsandMarkets™ View Point:

The shipping industry has been rapidly evolving with the technology advancements. This transition has been driven by challenges such as spatial constraints, productivity pressures, financial limitations, ever-increasing vessel sizes, and cargo volumes. To tackle these challenges now and in the future, the port authorities and sea terminals are moving towards a more digitalized and integrated model of operations, giving rise to the concept of “Smart Ports.”

Smart ports are expected to improve operational efficiencies, cargo handling, passenger services, and have advanced security capabilities. In addition, smart ports are equipped with proper waste management systems, which are a part of every country’s sustainable environment policies and agendas. Governments worldwide understand the importance of digitalization and the implementation of big data in the port sector. Hence, they have designed policies regarding the implementation of smart ports in several countries to support these developments. The growing need to curb operational expenses and the need to have real-time information are also forming a base for the development of these ports.

Impact on the Port Market and stake holders:

The synergy between the technology and the ports, such as between the partnership between Traxens and the Port of Marseille, highlights two major drivers of the smart port sector, namely, environment sustainability and operational efficiency. The governments across the world are trying to ensure that the ports get smarter so that they become more sustainable and much greener in terms of operations. Also, as the global shipping industry has become more sophisticated, a variety of players, including cargo and logistics companies, storage providers, trucking companies, and sensor providers, now exchange information in real time. For example, CMA CGM, an operator of the third largest shipping line in the world, uses Traxens’ technology to equip container ships. These containers communicate information about their location via relay antennas. These developments are contributing to the growth of the smart port market, making it the future of the shipping industry.

These collaborations also highlight how major players in the market are planning to penetrate the smart port sector. Contracts & agreements is the main strategy applied by the players, followed by mergers & acquisitions. The other major players in the market (account for 45% of the entire share market) are IBM, GE, Port of Rotterdam, Royal Haskoning, and Trellebog. Recently, Port of Rotterdam was also awarded the contract to develop its navigation application in Gdansk and Sohar ports. IBM has also been awarded a contract by the Spanish Port Authority to use blockchain-based shipping platform (Tradelens) to improve operational efficiency. Recently, ABB entered into an agreement with the port authority of China to assist on marine automation in China for cruise ferry ships. ABB provided full automation package with a dedicated local automation team and access to global engineering resources that will ensure both responsive and delivery of vessel benefitting from the highest levels of port integration.

Smart Port Blog Charts (2)

With many such market events, the conventional ports are becoming smarter driving the market demand for technology and digitization in the ports. MarketsandMarkets™ observed that Asia Pacific had the largest share in the smart port segment in 2018. However, Europe was the fastest growing market, with a CAGR of 30.3%. Europe had the highest rate of adoption for technology, and the EU policies around reduction in carbon footprint are helping the growth of the smart port market.

Smart Port Blog Charts (1)-1

Smart port market comprises of five key elements, namely, terminal automation & cargo handling, smart port infrastructure, Traffic Management System (TMS), terminal automation handling, safety & security, and Port Community Systems (PCS). Overall, the smart port infrastructure accounts for the largest share of 32% of the smart port market.


The smart port market is expected to grow at a massive rate in the coming years. MarketsandMarkets™ estimates the market to grow at a CAGR of 25% and projects that the smart port market would be a USD 5.4 billion market by 2024. There is a huge potential for digital and cloud-based companies that deal in IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and process automation to contribute to the development of the smart port infrastructure. One of the major opportunities for big players is the retrofitting of ports; this means upgrading the already existing ports to smart ports. Globally, 75% of the ports are existing ports, which implies that the scope for retrofitting is large and that it is a remarkable investment opportunity.

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