Towards business and environmentally sustainable ports

Project news

BESPORT, a VTT-coordinated Finland-China joint innovation action, has committed over €8 million in the next three years, with the funding support of €3.8 million from Business Finland, to collaboratively address industry’s major challenges and need for electrification, digitalization and operational optimization towards smart and green ports.

“Ports act as critical lifelines within our global logistics network, profoundly influencing the wellbeing of nations worldwide. At VTT, we pride ourselves on leveraging our expertise in digitalization, port fleet management, electrification, and automation. Through the BESPORT project, we are dedicated to forging a sustainable future, innovating solutions that ensure ports play an integral role in global wellbeing, guided by integrity and foresight. Our aim is to strengthen port operations, amplifying efficiency, resilience, and steadfastly reducing the environmental impact across the transportation chain,” states Teemu Manderbacka, VTT Maritime Research Team Leader.

Finland has been one of the leading countries in the digitalization and decarbonization of the maritime and port industries. The BESPORT project aims to further deepen and integrate digital and green solutions and innovations into the daily operations of ports and wider logistic chains. This would largely improve their operational productivity, sustainability and cost effectiveness and potentially disrupt the ways how the industries operate currently and pave the way to future shipping.

“Reducing GHG emission of maritime sector is a big challenge and ports are crucial players in waterborne logistic chain. Single companies can’t solve these challenges alone, close international co-operation is needed. Decarbonizing and digitalization of port activities offer also great business opportunities for Finnish companies. Business Finland warmly welcomes and supports projects like BESPORT and encourage Finnish companies and research institutes to develop world class solutions to make ports more efficient and sustainable.” says Markku Jokela, Senior Advisor and the Head of Decarbonized Maritime and Ports Campaign at Business Finland.

“We are excited to take part in this project as it opens doors to exciting cooperation opportunities. Electrification and digitalisation play a key role in our strategy and equipment portfolio at Kalmar, and with the project, we can learn and gain insights that help us develop new competencies and technologies around them. We believe that together we can make ports more sustainable” continues Pekka Yli-Paunu, Director of Research at Kalmar (part of Cargotec Finland Oyj.

“Visy Oy, despite being an SME, is a key global provider of OCR and AI-based terminal automation solutions”, says Heikki Huttunen, CTO of Visy Oy. “This project presents a unique opportunity for collaboration with leading partners in the industry. Additionally, it serves as a strategic pathway for entering the Chinese market. In this initiative, our focus will center on four innovative technologies that enhance the level of digitalization in access control, logistics, and asset management within international ports.”

“Collaboration and sharing is the future. BESPORT is an open collaborative consortium, and we welcome all the interested parties worldwide to join us together for a digital and green shipping future,” addresses Zou Guangrong, Senior Scientist at VTT and the coordinator of the BESPORT project.


The BESPORT (Digitalization and decarbonization for business and environmentally sustainable ports) consortium consists of 6 Finnish maritime and port companies ( Oy, Kalmar (part of Cargotec Finland Oyj), Fintraffic VTS, IOXIO Oy, Steveco Oy and Visy Oy) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.

For further information, please contact:

Markku Jokela

Senior Advisor, Head of Decarbonized Maritime and Ports Campaign
Business Finland
+358 44 712 4134

Zou Guangrong

BESPORT Coordinator
Senior Scientist, Senior Project Manager
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.
+358 40 766 8565

Guangrong Zou
Guangrong Zou
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