MarineTraffic Blog

World Port Hackathon 2017: Benefiting the maritime world

After four successful editions of the World Port Hackathon, it is time to celebrate our fifth anniversary! 24 hours of vibrant energy, innovation, collaboration and above all fun will again be present in the fifth edition of the World Port Hackathon. This year, the first World Port Hackathon Conference is being organised to test the limits of innovation and get even more inspired.

During the World Port Conference our partners from the technology and port industry will sketch the future of the maritime industry. What are the biggest challenges? Share, connect, inspire, and be inspired at the first World Port Conference.

At the World Port Hackathon students, designers, professionals, company teams, but also start-ups are taking up one of our six challenges to solve with data and technology. The challenges have been co-created with our partners and the port community. It gives relevant issues for the hackers to solve. During the event, we provide the right ‘scene’, including food, drinks, data, knowledge, technology, great companies and of course, an amazing energy! Create, innovate and amaze others with what is possible!

Leon Gommans, the founder of this annual event, Daniel Shirley, Product Manager and Athanasios Zelios, Customer Support Engineer from MarineTraffic which is a proud co-creator of World Port Hackathon, told us in an interview about this year’s event and how it will benefit the maritime industry, as well as every individual who will participate.

Leon Gommans, initiator of the World Port Hackathon.
Leon Gommans, initiator of the World Port Hackathon.

Leon Gommans, Initiator of the World Port Hackathon

I have a passion for open, collaboration, innovation and technology. This, in combination with my love for Rotterdam and its port drove me to organise the first World Port Hackathon 5 years ago. It’s great to see what impact such an event can bring the maritime industry.

Why is this event important to the world?
The World Port Hackathon provides the environment for people with a passion for ports and / or technology to co-create the port of the future. Real challenges straight from the industry are being addressed in 24 hours by students, professionals, corporates and start-ups to make the next level port visible and tangible. The event is an eye opener for people within the industry and provides new perspectives on how today’s challenges can be solved.

Why is this event important to the Port of Rotterdam?
The World Port Hackathon is important to generate and foster innovation in the maritime industry. A combination of the right energy, knowledge, environment, data, and challenges, stimulate people’s creative mindset, resulting in ‘out-of-the-box’ innovative solutions. The event is the first step to make people enthusiastic for the port industry and its challenges. It is key to attract talent to the port industry and specifically the Port of Rotterdam. It is the only way to compete and win in the global industry and remain the smartest port.

What are the benefits for a company to participate in the conference?
Companies are often tied-up into procedures and operating methods. The World Port Hackathon is an ‘innovation engine’ which removes the everyday threshold and tunnel vision of co-creating innovation in the maritime industry. This year, we celebrate our anniversary: the fifth edition of the World Port Hackathon. Therefore, we added a Word Port Conference upfront the Hackathon. The Conference has an emphasis on sharing knowledge, connecting perspectives and be inspired by each other.

Why should a maritime professional participate in the conference and main event?
Today’s world is rapidly changing, especially if you consider the role of data and technology. The maritime industry is characterised by the hands-on mentality. The World Port Hackathon, as well as the Conference, is a source of inspiration on how technology will be at the base of the port of the future. During the conference, maritime professionals will inspire and be inspired. The hackathon is the place where the worlds meet and solutions for the challenges will become visible and tangible.

Daniel Shirley, Product Manager at MarineTraffic
Daniel Shirley, Product Manager at MarineTraffic

Daniel Shirley, Product Marketing Manager at MarineTraffic
As Product Marketing Manager for MarineTraffic, I work at the exciting frontier where the market and innovative solutions meet. I am inspired by the many ways in which the application of technology is enabling people in the maritime sector to live and work more efficiently. Being a part of the World Port Hackathon, for me, is both an honour and a fantastic opportunity to learn.

How do you feel about your participation as a speaker in this big event?

This is the third successive year that MarineTraffic is participating as a partner to the World Port Hackathon, and it’s great to see how the event has grown both in size and standing. I’m personally very excited to have the opportunity to speak to such a well-informed audience, and to discuss some of the new and exciting ways AIS data can be used, both to understand current operations and to shape longer term investment and development.

What should your audience expect to hear in your presentation?

A lot of fantastic work continues to be done to realise the power of AIS data as a tool to improve the planning and execution of operations. I will discuss the next steps, where by analysis of AIS data starts to provide a more transparent view of operational efficiency at a port or terminal level, driving competition and informing investment decisions.

What do you expect to gain from this event?

The World Port Conference and the Hackathon are a massive draw, pulling in a fantastic mix of industry specialists, innovators and technologists, all excited to share and discuss their visions of the future. I’m looking forward to hearing from the people with the ideas, both big and small, that will help shape the future of the shipping industry.

Athanasios Zelios, Customer Support Engineer at MarineTraffic
Athanasios Zelios, Customer Support Engineer at MarineTraffic

Athanasios Zelios, Customer Support Engineer at MarineTraffic

I have been working for the ICT industry in various roles and positions. What I have learnt all these years is that each industry has different needs both technologically and strategically. Participating in the World Port Hackathon for the first time will help me identify those needs and trends of the constantly growing and developing maritime industry.

What will your role be in this event, what information will you be offering to people?

I am part of the API experts team and my main purpose is to support the hackers of the event with their implementations while integrating our API services. Except for troubleshooting their API calls, I will be there to provide as much information as possible regarding how to fully take advantage of the API services by doing correct use of the available attributes/parameters. Finally, I will provide information on which API services’ combination could lead to retrieving all the required information to meet the challenges’ needs.

How do the APIs help the individuals participating in the main event?

In one sentence, it would be impossible for the participants to meet the challenges needs (not to all of them but to a vast majority) without our API services. The real-time information combined with the historical data and MarineTraffic “intelligent” data provided by our API services constitute essential part of the solutions. Last but not least, our  fast and reliable API services and the data integrity, guaranteed by MarineTraffic technical team, will help the hackers of the event to only focus on what is essential: innovation in order to meet the challenges of the ports of the future.

Want to inspire and be inspired at our first World Port Conference? Want to envision and co-create the port of the future? Please register here. Tickets are running out, so make sure you are on the list for the 5th anniversary!


Experience professional ship tracking MarineTraffic

Katerina Ignatiou
Marketing Assistant @MarineTraffic