Inside Logistics

Port of Montreal wins AAPA award

Digital twin gets the nod for Port Operations and Management Systems excellence

September 24, 2020

As part of its 2020 Together Apart Annual Convention and Expo this week, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) recognized 28 port authorities in its annual Environmental Improvement, Facilities Engineering, Information Technology and Communications awards programs.

AAPA’s Information Technology Awards program, which began in 2002, highlights port technology accomplishments in the areas of Port Operations and Management Systems and in Improvements in Intermodal Freight Transportation. The Montréal Port Authority won the 2020 Port Operations and Management Systems category Award of Excellence ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­for its submission, Port of Montreal Digital Twin.

According to its submission to the awards program, the MPA, which administers the Port of Montreal, has produced a Digital Twin of the port’s territory and infrastructure. The tool is used for infrastructure planning and optimization, training of security and fire prevention staff, and enhanced communications with the community, clients and potential clients.

Hi-tech partnership

The MPA partnered with the Centre for Technological Entrepreneurship (Centech) in 2018 to create the first port innovation accelerator in North America. The unit, which is helping the port accelerate its innovation cycle, provides access to high-tech start-up companies to help advance technological solutions in the marine transportation sector.

Inn 2019, the MPA and start-up partners PreVu3D and ARA Robotics, carried out extensive three-dimensional modelling of port locations and facilities to create a Digital Twin. ARA Robotics used a drone to take high-quality overhead photographs of the port. The photos were transformed into 3D using photogrammetry technology.

PreVu3D took the data-heavy 3D models, smoothed out the textures to make the files easier to read, and created an interactive environment to navigate the model from an overhead, first- or third-person perspective.

Augmented reality

A third-party consultant created an application that presents the model of port installations in augmented reality. A tablet with the application and a 2D map of the port are all that users need to move around the port and learn about operations and ecosystem as if they were in a video game.

“We appreciate every entrant and congratulate every winner in this year’s AAPA awards programs for investing the time to prepare their entries, get peer review from the judges, share their work, and highlight best practices and lessons learned in their respective competitions,” said Christopher J. Connor, AAPA president and CEO.

“When port authorities work with their many stakeholders, including their communities, business leaders and policymakers, to develop projects like the ones entered into these competitions, they’re better able to demonstrate their tremendous value as drivers of economic development, environmental enhancement and job creation.”