Considering the position of UAE as a retail destination in the Middle East, heavy movement of cargo at its ports doesn’t come as a surprise. Add to that the meteoric rise of e-commerce in the past year or so, and sophisticated systems to keep an eye on goods landing in the country, become a necessity for the supply chain.
To manage shipping operations efficiently, satellites that ensure security of ships, smart dhows and driverless cargo trucks have been rolled out in the Emirates. Sensing an opportunity in the sector, tech major Microsoft has shifted gears to boost monitoring of goods at Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa port.
Following the establishment of data centres and several partnerships in the UAE, the global powerhouse has rolled out a tracking platform based on its cloud service Azure. Heightened by the data processing capacity, this system will provide a bird’s eye view of containers in real-time.
The constant updates of each unit will make sure that goods can be located on the port at any given time, without room for error. As it watches over cargo, Microsoft’s cloud-based product will also pave the way for smart shuttles to drive into Khalifa port, hence cutting down need for extra staff in transportation.
Electric wagons moving goods at the port will also cut down costs as well as the energy requirements in day-to-day operations. This will serve the purpose of reducing emissions, in line with UAE’s sustainability goals for the near future.
Decisions meant to strengthen ports have followed reports which highlighted how UAE has been struggling with handling of goods shipped to the country. The port currently receiving 12 million tonnes of cargo, is being prepared to accommodate 31 million tonnes by 2030, through these initiatives.
Microsoft has also joined hands with Abu Dhabi’s administration for other moves aimed at digitisation, including the development of a startup hub in the city.