Smart Ports Market

Smart Ports Market Analysis by Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Blockchain from 2023 to 2033

Analysis of Smart Ports Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more

Smart Ports Market Outlook (2023 to 2033)

Global demand for smart ports is predicted to advance at a noteworthy CAGR of 20.4% from 2023 to 2033. Currently, the global smart ports market is valued at US$ 2.5 billion and is estimated to jump to a market size of US$ 16 billion by the end of 2033.

Ports across the world have evolved structurally and functionally during the last few decades. Nowadays, a wave of technological innovation and integration is enabling industries and enterprises to digitally transform and become more data and insight-driven. The first generation of ports was called loading and unloading ports, followed by second-generation ports called industrial ports.

Third-generation ports were defined as logistic and supply chain ports that operated between 1980 and 2010. After 2010, smart ports became operational.

A smart port is an automated maritime facility that improves performance and economic competitiveness by utilizing the internet of things (IoT), blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and other smart technology-based methods. It is made up of digitized infrastructure that provides numerous advantages, such as predictable performance, better decision-making, fewer human-related disturbances, and inexpensive operating expenses.

Due to the flow provided by the automation process, smart ports operate more efficiently than traditional versions.

The COVID-19 outbreak had a detrimental impact on the global market, as countries throughout the world were compelled to enforce lockdowns in the first half of 2020. Governments worldwide established strict guidelines and laws prohibiting all non-essential operations. Furthermore, production and supply chain delays were observed during the second quarter of 2020, damaging the global market growth. Nevertheless, the global market began to rebound in 2021 and is predicted to develop even more throughout the projection period.

Several governments have begun to take proactive steps toward the use of emerging technologies like IoT and AI in ports. Smart ports have become critical for a country's economic growth, and improving maritime transit efficiency will only accelerate that progress.

  • For example, in October 2019, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, unveiled an online platform, 'SMARTPORT,' as part of the ease of conducting business reforms linked to export and trade promotion in all ports in the state.

Moreover, the global market is benefiting greatly from the mounting environmental concerns. The shipping industry has a significant carbon impact all over the world.

  • According to the International Transport Forum (ITF), ports accounted for approximately 80% of carbon dioxide emissions in 2019.

This has prompted a reduction in carbon footprint. Modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing can help ports achieve their targets while reducing the amount of energy used by on-premise equipment. These factors are projected to propel the worldwide market growth over the forecast period.

Report Attributes


Smart Ports Market Size in 2023

US$ 2.5 Billion

Projected Market Value (2033)

US$ 16 Billion

Global Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033)

20.4% CAGR

Asia Pacific Market Share (2022)


Process Automation Segment Share (2022)


Key Companies Profiled

  • Abu Dhabi Ports
  • ABB
  • Accenture
  • General Electric
  • Port Solutions
  • IBM
  • Royal Haskoning
  • Ramboll Group
  • Wipro

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Why are Smart Ports Becoming Increasingly Important?

“Expanding International Maritime Trade Activities”

International trade is largely dependent on maritime transport. Ocean shipping is the primary route of global trade.

  • As per UNCTAD (The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), over 75% of the goods traded internationally are transported by sea, with the percentage being much greater in most emerging countries.

This kind of transportation is less costly and more practical for global trade than air, road, and rail transport.

  • According to the same source, global maritime trade rose by 4% in the fiscal year 2021 and is estimated to increase at a modest annual rate of more than 2% from 2022 to 2026.

Maritime trade rebounded in 2021 as a result of pent-up demand, as well as restocking and inventory accumulation. There was also a movement in consumption patterns away from services and toward products, such as pharmaceuticals, health items, and home office equipment, as well as changes in shopping habits and the growth of the e-commerce sector. Such aspects increased marine trade activities, thereby boosting the demand for smart ports.

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Which Factors can Adversely Impact Global Market Growth?

“High Investment Required for Port Development”

Port investments are projected to be substantial in the future years. The problem for port authorities is to accomplish projects that are usually financially unappealing to the port authority and much less enticing to external investors but are necessary for broader economic and societal reasons.

Numerous ports are economically solid and can finance their growth or renovations; however, several ports have to rely on external entities, such as private funding, partnerships, or governments, to invest in their infrastructure. Such aspects can negatively impact the growth of the global market.

“Concerns Regarding Data Privacy and Security”

Despite their several benefits, many port operators are unwilling to implement modern technologies. This is due to concerns about data privacy and security. Since cyber-attacks are becoming more common, confidential data about ports can be leaked, compromising the entire operation. As a result, these aspects can impede global market growth.

Smart ports market summary and forecast by Fact.MR

Country-wise Insights

How are Japan & South Korea Aiding Asia Pacific's Supremacy in the Global Market?

“Strong Focus on Development of Technologically Advanced Ports”

Asia Pacific is dominating the worldwide market. As per Fact.MR, a market research and competitive intelligence provider, Asia Pacific captured 37% of the global market for smart ports in 2022.

  • According to the UNCTAD Review of Marine Transport, the region accounted for 54% of maritime trade in 2021.

Asia Pacific is also regarded as a lucrative region for sea trade. The region has seen a substantial economic expansion in the energy and manufacturing sectors in recent years, resulting in increased maritime commerce activities.

Japan and South Korea are among the major countries regarded as prime trading locations with extensive trade activities. Japan and South Korea are focusing on developing technologically advanced ports and upgrading existing ones by incorporating modern technologies.

  • For example, in 2021, Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) announced 'PORT 2030', a medium- and long-term port plan. The concept is based on three essential principles: connect the ports, build world-class ports, and establish smart ports.

Why is the United States Commanding the North American Market?

“Heavy Investments to Improve Port Infrastructure”

The North American market is growing at a rapid pace. The constantly expanding port economy has resulted in greater use of smart ports to boost operating effectiveness, propelling regional market growth. Moreover, strong government initiatives, the advent of cloud-based software, and technological developments are all helping to push the regional market forward.

The United States is the market leader in North America. The United States government is concentrating on improving port infrastructure and creating data-driven solutions. As a consequence, the government is investing heavily in ports.

  • For example, in October 2022, the United States Department of Transportation announced US$ 700 million in funding for 41 projects in 22 states and one territory to upgrade port infrastructure through the Maritime Administration's Port Infrastructure Development Program.

What Makes Germany a Lucrative Market for Smart Ports?

“Increasing Implementation of Sophisticated Technologies”

The European market is witnessing considerable growth. Ports in European countries such as Germany are relatively small, but they manage a huge amount of cargo. Moreover, European ports cannot compete only on port size, as ports of considerably smaller capacity/ size manage as much volume as large-sized ports. As a result, even modestly and sparsely populated ports are progressively turning to smart operations.

  • For example, in 2021, the Port of Rotterdam in Germany collaborated with IBM to install smart sensors throughout a 42-kilometer stretch of the port.

Category-wise Insights

Why is Process Automation Attracting Huge Interest?

“Increasing Use of Software-assisted Robots”

Process automation held 34% of the global market in 2022. The usage of cloud-based software to assist in the automation process is growing across ports. Port authorities are increasingly utilizing software-assisted robots for routine duties such as ship invoicing and port gate operations to reduce human interference and thus focus on key operational tasks.

The level of automation changes based on the task/operation at hand, which may occasionally necessitate the incorporation of various technologies with process automation software. Nevertheless, process automation as an independent technology provides significant growth opportunities for dock operators.

Extensively Busy Ports Have Smart Infrastructure More Than Others?

“Operating Effectiveness and Generating Significant Revenue”

Ports with more than 18 million TEU capacity are classified as extensively busy ports. The fundamental cause for the extensively busy port’s dominance in the global market is their capacity and the variety of operations handled, which has compelled authorities to employ some degree of automation to achieve operating effectiveness. Additionally, these ports generate considerable revenues, enabling port authorities to invest in automation easily.

Competitive Landscape

Key players in the smart ports market are actively implementing marketing tactics such as collaborations, investments, and acquisitions to gain market share. Furthermore, numerous start-ups are raising funds to focus on new developments.

  • As Per a 2019 Allianz safety and shipping research, 70% of marine mishaps are caused by human mistakes; therefore, Seadronix, a start-up based in South Korea, is working on eliminating this problem. The company received a US$ 5.8 million Series A extension in October 2022 to grow its AI-based ship berthing monitoring and navigation technologies, which would assist cargo ships in securely navigating and port operators in mooring their vehicles at the harbor.
  • ABB, a Swedish multinational firm based in Switzerland that runs smart ports, absorbed InCharge Energy in January 2022. This acquisition is planned to broaden ABB's e-mobility division's clientele in North America by delivering fleet electrification and digital services.
  • ABB signed a deal with the Port of Toulon, France, in January 2022 to link the most extensive shore-to-ship project in France. With this sustainable endeavor, the Port of Toulon, which serves over 1 million cruise and ferry passengers each year, has committed to supporting ABB shore connection technology to provide one cruise liner or three ferries with all their energy needs.
  • In April 2021, Abu Dhabi Ports launched a new digital solution to improve the administration of Abu Dhabi's slipways, which are ramps used to move boats to and from the water during peak hours.

Key Segments of Smart Ports Industry Research

  • By Technology :

    • Process Automation
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Internet of Things
    • Blockchain
  • By Throughput Capacity :

    • Extensively Busy
    • Moderately Busy
    • Scarcely Busy
  • By Region :

    • North America
    • Latin America
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific & China
    • Middle East & Africa

- FAQs -

What is the expected smart ports market growth?

Global demand for smart ports is anticipated to surge at a CAGR of 20.4% from 2023 to 2033.

What is the forecast outlook for smart ports?

The market for smart ports is predicted to reach US$ 16 billion by 2033.

What was Asia Pacific's market share in 2022?

Asia Pacific held 37% of the global smart ports market in 2022.

How much is the smart ports market currently worth?

The global smart ports market reached a valuation of US$ 2.5 billion in 2022.

Who are the main players in the global smart ports market?

Abu Dhabi Ports, ABB, Accenture, General Electric, Port Solutions, IBM, Royal Haskoning, Ramboll Group, and Wipro are key providers of smart port solutions.

Smart Ports Market

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