March 23, 2023

Cargo ports are vital transport hubs in the world economy. Around 90% of all globally traded goods by tonnage is transported by sea and in 2021, a whopping 3.5 billion tonnes of freight passed through EU ports alone.

Antwerp was the second-largest port in Europe — spreading across 120km² — before a merger with Bruges in 2022 created a combined port area of 160km² and the biggest chemical cluster on the continent. 

València’s expanding port is the largest on the European Mediterranean in terms of container traffic — and dates back to 1491. Its port authority, Valènciaport, is responsible for València, plus Gandía and Sagunto ports along the coast.  

Ahead of their talks at TNW València in March, we spoke to Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, and Juan Manuel Díez, Strategy and Innovation Director at the Port Authority of València, about how they are pursuing the newest advances in tech to transform their ports.

“Ports are not just logistics hubs, they’re also becoming the industrial and energy hubs for Europe as part of the European Green Deal, so we are in a complete transformation of our core activity and digital innovation plays a significant role in that,” Verstraelen told TNW.