Digital transformation is one of the solutions driving the ports to adopt advanced technologies in the maritime industry to reduce operational costs, reduce human errors, collect real-time data, & make data-driven decisions. Port automation improvises port infrastructure, techniques to handle large cargo amounts, ensure security & safety, manage container traffic, and reduce carbon emissions. This automated infrastructure provides highly reliable solutions & enhanced performance of port operations with a wide range of applications.
The UAE Port Automation Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 18% during the forecast period, i.e., 2022-27. Port automation uses cohesive technology to generate smart solutions for well-organized control of container traffic & trade flows on the port and, in turn, increase port capacity & efficiency. Automated ports that are more efficient than conventional ones help minimize human errors and enhance the port performance.
The growing complexity of port operations in the UAE has caused extensive diversification & intensification in the infrastructure and technology of ports. Accordingly, ports in the UAE are integrating more technological & automated solutions like robotics, artificial intelligence, IoT, etc., to increase productivity. The adoption of digital technology has made ports more automated, with a connected supply chain & limited workforce to carry out operations. As a result, various investments are taking place in port automation to enhance the efficiency of seaports. For example:
|Study Period||Historical Data: 2017-20|
|Base Year: 2021|
|Forecast Period: 2022-27|
|CAGR (2022-2027)||18 %|
|Region Covered||Dubai, Abu Dhabi & AI Ain, Sharjah & Northern Emirates|
|Key Companies Profiled||DHI, Microsoft, Accenture, TBA Group, Navis, Royal Haskoning, Wipro, IBM, Kalmar, TCS|
|Unit Denominations||USD Million/Billion|
In addition, the government-owned & privately-owned port companies are collaborating with IT solutions providers to boost operational efficiency and provide solutions for continuous & smooth operations of cranes, vehicles, containers, Closed-Circuit Televisions (CCTVs), etc. These port automation systems transfer large amounts of data to the port control center and help personnel proactively report & resolve operational problems in real-time.
Impact of Covid-19 on the UAE Port Automation Market
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 impacted the global trade flows. However, essential goods & medical items during the pandemic were made extensively available with the help of the efficient supply chain in the UAE. Moreover, the pandemic established the significance for ports to adopt digital transformation since the lockdown negatively impacted ocean freight volumes, which, in turn, boosted the need for developing efficiencies to stay competitive. Furthermore, the increased focus of port authorities on streamlining their operations, and a secured movement of containers & cargo, is projected to boost the adoption of new technologies in ports. In order to combat the pandemic, the country also increased investments in the development of ports & its logistics sectors to enhance the trade routes and, in turn, immunize its efforts against the crisis.
Additionally, in 2021, Dubai Customs further enhanced the digital transformation to government organizations by implementing Entry/Exit Certificate Automation at seaports. This initiative helped customers submit their claims after the departure of export and cargo without submitting the physical papers. The implementation of the automation enhanced the operational efficiency of ports while supporting Smart Dubai’s Paperless Strategy. Hence, ports assisted in providing goods & medicines to customers by implementing digital transformations without any operational delays.
Based on the Platforms:
Port authorities in the UAE are continuously looking for port terminal solutions for proper utilization of assets and control the functionality of terminal automation. Shipment extent, unreliable scheduling, incompetent cargo storage space, unavailability of equipment like cranes, climate changes, storage area, etc., are some of the critical issues ports face regularly.
Hence, to resolve these problems, ports require the right automation system for asset management, maintenance, safe data handling, and proper consistency in the cargo movement. It is why the demand for Port Automation Software solutions is significantly surging across the UAE to progress the functioning & productivity of port activities.
With this, companies like Microsoft, IBM, Siemens, Wipro, TCS, Accenture, etc., are providing fully automated software solutions to ports to enhance their efficiency in handling cargo, fleet management, gate terminals, etc. During 2022-27, the demand for automated software solutions in ports is expecting a steady surge to enhance the accountability of operations. For instance:
Hence, to ensure the safety & security of data and increase operational productivity, ports are required to implement security-enabled technologies & advanced digital platforms that provide unprecedented connectivity & efficiency. It, in turn, would drive the demand for automated systems in ports and certainly enhance the accountability of operations during 2022-27.
Based on the Application:
Due to the upsurge in global trade, it is now challenging to manage seaports operations since cargo volumes & the sizes of vessels have increased significantly. As a result, ports are implementing smart infrastructure facilities to deal with various issues associated with handling such a large volume of cargo, managing the rail & inland container depot, fleet management, etc. Additionally, port authorities, in partnership with automation service providers, such as Accenture, Wipro, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, etc., are furnishing their ports with smart automated solutions to deal with operational & managerial challenges. For instance:
Therefore, implementing technologically oriented smart infrastructure in ports would enhance operational efficiency and stimulate seaports companies to reach international markets.
Of them all, Abu Dhabi & Dubai seized a substantial share in the UAE Port Automation Market during 2017-21. Large-scale developments entwined with the integration of automation technologies like IoT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, etc., into ports are the prime aspects driving the market in these regions.
The major cargo transportation takes place through sea routes, which requires expansion & development of seaports to manage increasing trade-related activities. In addition, with an increase in the global trade in the UAE, the container size & cargo volumes have been also surged, which has consequently affected sea route operations.
Moreover, the adoption of smart technological solutions helps the port authorities to improve their supply chain operations, enhance productivity, reduce labor cost, minimize error, etc. Additionally, as per UAE Vision 2021, the government is more devoted to developing a digital economy based on automated technologies & sustainable economic development, coupled with environmental benefits of energy and, in turn, aid performance.
Key Driver: Increased Use of Digital Technologies to Improve Efficiency of Ports
In order to create a competitive advantage, ports across the UAE are looking for unique solutions to increase their productivity. Hence, they are increasingly adopting digital technologies to reduce operational costs, minimize human errors, collect real-time data, and make data-driven decisions. These benefits would enhance the efficiency of port operations and, in turn, drive the port automation market in the UAE. Moreover, they are strategically moving toward becoming the world’s foremost digitalized smart ports. DP World, Khalifa, Jebel Ali, etc., are a few ports gradually adopting security-enabling technologies, such as blockchain, IoT, and other automation platforms, which provide unique connectivity & efficiency.
Growth Challenge: Extremely High Initial Investment to Automate Ports
Initial investments required to automate terminals are significantly high, and every port across the UAE cannot afford that cost. As a result, small ports adopt semi-automated technology as the secondary support for manual labor. Hence, compared to the other sectors like mining, warehousing, etc., there is relatively slow adoption of automated solutions in UAE ports. In lieu of this, external agencies, the UAE government, financial institutions, & collaborations among them could support small ports by investing in their infrastructure to upgrade & expand port operations and transform them into smart infrastructure systems.
Key Questions Answered in the Market Research Report:
Market Outlook, Segmentation, and Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions
A. The UAE Port Automation Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 18% during 2022-27.
A. The Smart Port Automation application is anticipated to emerge as an area of remunerative opportunities for the leading players in the UAE Port Automation Market during 2022-27.
A. The rising government support toward developing smart port infrastructure by adopting the IoT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and other automation platforms to enhance the operational efficiency of ports is likely to drive the UAE Port Automation Market during 2022-27.
A. Post-Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE Port Automation Market shall expand steadily in the coming years, owing to an increase in trade & cargo operations across the country, which would act as a catalyst for the development of Smart ports.