The Freeport of Riga is introducing digital technologies to speed-up cargo flow handling

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Today, Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits visited the Freeport of Riga to discuss the solutions of digitization of port processes and implementation of new technologies with all involved parties.

Continuing the digitization of the port processes, the Freeport of Riga Authority has started testing of a new pilot project, with the aim to digitize document circulation for road cargo transportation to the port terminals and to automate road transport services in the port territory. The project is being developed in cooperation with the Latvian Road Transport Directorate, the SRS Customs Authority, SIA “Rīgas Universālais termināls” and the largest energy bulk cargo exporter in the Baltic States.

According to the test results the implemented system will reduce the time needed to service one truck up to 4 times, minimizing the paper document flow and physical contact, as well as reducing congestion in the city. This is a significant achievement, taking into account the constantly growing flow of road freight in the port of Riga.

The pilot project’s purpose is the implementation of a unified online system where the data entered by the cargo shipper can be used by all parties involved in the logistics chain. The introduction of modern technologies at port checkpoints and the port companies will foster full automation of the cargo delivery process, starting from the vehicle recognition and its entry into the port territory, and proceeding with the processes at the port terminal - such as gate opening, cargo weighing, cargo data processing, cargo transporting to the relevant warehouse.

Digitized document flow and the logistics process automation will significantly increase the speed of road transport service and cargo delivery, will reduce truck downtime, congestion in the city as well as decrease related exhaust emissions, improving cargo safety and control options.

“In the rapidly changing market conditions, it is more important than ever for Latvian ports to strengthen their competitiveness. Digitization and speeding up cargo handling is one of the tasks. Multimodal solutions and services can become our advantage in attracting new investors and international cargo carriers,” has said the Minister of Transport of Latvia Mr.Talis Linkaits today, while visiting the company SIA“Rīgas Universālais termināls” with the aim to learn more about e-CMR project testing.

“One of the important steps for enhancing the competitiveness of the Freeport of Riga is the introduction of modern technologies and solutions - thus increasing the port operation efficiency and the speed of cargo handling. We will continue to work on the concept of digital transformation so that the Port of Riga becomes a leader in the implementation of smart or digital technologies in the entire Baltic region,” said Mr Viesturs Zeps, the Chairman of the Freeport of Riga Board, adding that in the future it is planned to integrate transport unit and person movement recognition algorithms into the port operational system. Mr Zeps also mentioned that various IT and unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) solutions for environmental monitoring and air quality measurement are being tested in the port, furthermore, in cooperation with the State Communications Directorate the discussions on the use of autonomous electric vehicles in the port area and terminals, thus promoting CO2 reduction in the port and Riga in general, have been initiated.

In the first quarter of the current year the flow of cargo transported by road in the port of Riga has increased by 12% compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Within the 1st quarter of 2019 119 295 trucks were handled in the port, but in the 1st quarter of 2020 the number of trucks has increased by 15 700, reaching 134 985 cargo carrying trucks.

In recent years, more than 13 million tons of cargo per year or 40% of all cargo handled in the port has been transported by road to and from the port of Riga. Last year, more than 500 000 trucks passed through the port pass control posts, while the major part (~ 77%) of all road cargo was handled at terminals located on the right bank of the River Daugava.

SIA “Rīgas Universālais termināls” is one of the fastest growing companies in the port of Riga, which in recent years has become a leader in terms of the transshipped cargo volume. The most important types of cargo, handled at the terminal - various groups of timber cargo, container cargo, grain, cereal products, soybeans. 90% of the cargo handled at the terminal is received by road.