The digital transformation is opening up new possibilities for HPA to ensure Hamburg remains one of the world’s key ports in future too. With our smartPORT projects, we are leveraging cutting-edge IT solutions to drive forward the optimisation of the flow of traffic and goods within the harbour. At the same time, the Port of Hamburg networks with other ports to create a chain of intelligent ports around the world: the chainPORTS.

Initiated by HPA, chainPORT is a cross-national partnership between the world’s leading ports. The members share their knowledge, innovations and promotions of strategic topics. The objective is to learn from one another and develop innovations. An extensive and solid debate on the effects of the digital revolution and, thanks to the more efficient use of existing infrastructure, the avoidance of unnecessary investments in future are the aim.

Upcoming events

Since the initiative was launched in 2016, an annual general meeting has been held, attended by presidents, CIOs and strategic managers from world leading ports. This year our chainPORT partner, Port of Rotterdam, will host the Annual Meeting in cooperation with the Hamburg Port Authority. During the meeting the results of the different working groups of the initiative will be presented, strategic decisions will be made and the goals for next year will be defined.
The main focus will be on the topics of platforms and sustainability through new technologies.

This year the event will be virtually held due to Covid-19.

Port of Barcelona launched Smart Ports (LINK) last year, which takes place at the Smart City Expo World Congress (LINK). With the support of Port of Antwerp, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, Montreal, Busan and the Hamburg Port Authority, the Port of Barcelona hosts the event.

At the Smart Ports, chainPORT members will present their SmartPORT projects, which represent a technological advance that affects both the port and the city.

This year the event will be virtually held due to Covid-19.

The three-day international exchange program based on innovation and digitalization is organized by the Busan Port Authority this year.


A global network of interconnected logistics hubs which enables maritime stakeholders through innovation and digitalization to achieve secure, efficient and sustainable door-to-door supply chains.


  • Reduce fragmentation in the maritime supply chain by increasing interconnectivity
  • Achieve best-in-class cyber resilience standards
  • Actively shape maritime policy by speaking with one voice towards policy makers and other relevant maritime stakeholders
  • Include employees and port stakeholders in the digital change process through education, development and involvement


chainPORT strives to have an informed debate on the effects of the digital revolution on the port ecosystem. In so doing, chainPORTs aim to avoid unnecessary future investments in physical assets.

chainPORT leverages digitalization to optimize processes in the port ecosystem and, in so doing, aims at reducing the carbon footprint. chainPORT disseminates technologies which monitor and reduce environmental impact.

Discussing openly and trustfully about challenges and best practices results in win-win situations for all. Confidentiality is maintained wherever chainPORTs consider it essential and reasonable.

With the chainPORT initiative, we at HPA are going beyond the traditional concept of bilateral partnerships. We want port management, its partners and customers, to come together and share their experiences as well as develop strategies. In a network that spans the globe, ports should be able to collaborate both on a digital and on an analogue scale. After all, only by leveraging intelligent data systems jointly and openly exchanging information and ideas can sustainable growth be possible – growth which not only has an eye on the economy, but also a mind for ecology. In this way, chainPORT opens up new routes of sustainability.


Harbor trip at Burchardkai



Within the international working groups of chainPORT members, relevant topics are discussed and developed further – through personal meetings as well as via digital communication channels across country borders and continents.

This works as an "Umbrella" working group which brings together various themes/projects:

  • Cyber resilience - increasing the security of port authorities to better manage cyber attacks;
  • Connected Ports - Implementation of data exchange between ports;
  • Digital Port Twin – Define a common vision between the different ports, the specific objectives and the added value of the connected digital port twins;
  • Hackathon - A three-day event in which participants, divided in teams, challenge to give birth to an idea with defined themes in a creative environment;

The aim of this working group is to improve the interfaces between the various actors in the maritime logistics chain through cooperation and dialogue;

The aim of this working group lead by the HPA is to share experiences in port authorities on cultural change, which enables and promotes digital transformation, for example through the exchange of best practices;

The aim of this annual event is the continuous development of the competence of the employees in the partner ports and the intensive networking of the participants. The chainPORT Academy serves as a port network for the exchange of information on topics related to digitisation. Consisting of seminar phases, workshop sessions, expert discussions, innovation hubs and port visits, the Academy promotes an intensive dialogue on chainPORT relevant topics. Participants learn about current challenges and best practice examples that move ports worldwide on current topics.

This year, the "Shaping the digital culture in Port Authorities" working group publishes a digital script about the learnings from crisis management during Covid-19. Five chainPORT ports share their digital solutions as best practices in crisis situations.

The aim is to develop a practical approach for port authorities to strategically manage global crisis situations with digital solutions.
chainPORT Digital Playbook