Smart and Green Innovation in Port Authority Management: a pilot study


Smart and Green Innovation in Port Authority Management: a pilot study

Francesco Calza - Marco Ferretti - Marcello Risitano - Alessandra Turi

Objectives. In recent years, port management has been increasingly characterized by several challenges in port stakeholder systems to sustain competitive advantage in worldwide scenario. Today, a seaport is becoming a key node in logistics and industrial business networks, playing a strategic role in high turbulent economic contexts (Notteboom and Haralambides 2020). Therefore, Port Authorities (PAs) must be implementing new management practices to improve port competitiveness (Parola et al., 2017) especially in term of sustainability, digitalization and smart technologies.

Several private and public players in port community – such as terminal operators, shipping companies, logistics firms, customs, coast guard, etc. – must be able to respond to the challenges generated by commercial and environmental dynamics (Van der Lugt, De Langen, & Hagdorn, 2007) collaborating together for development new skills and dynamic capabilities. The PA, as meta-orchestrator of the port community, has the role to coordinate the port players’ efforts to support port innovation paths (Acciaro, Sys, 2020).

Some scholars analysed the determinants of port competitiveness evaluating the relationships with hard (e.g. infrastructure, superstructure and equipment, geographical location and internal logistical platforms) and soft port resources (e.g. services provided, ICT systems, safety and security). Parola et al. (2017) classified the main drivers of port competitiveness through a maritime literature meta-analysis focusing the attention on the moderating effect of some cutting-edge industry changes (i.e. economies of scale in shipping, port governance, coopetition among ports in proximity, inter-firm networks, green and sustainability challenges) on these drivers. Evaluating the actual maritime competitive scenario, in our opinion two main relevant challenges must be considered by the PAs: a. the adoption of digital and intelligent technologies to support port operations; b. the reduction of environmental impact of port management. Energy efficiency, digitisation of port processes, adoption of smart technologies are becoming new enabling factors for PAs to develop innovative strategies in COVID-19 pandemic period. The effects generated by the pandemic underlined the importance of resilience as port capability to respond with proactive and flexible practices for adapting port management to the unexpected macro-economic changes.

#Green challeng #Port Authority #Port innovation #Port management #Smart challenges