The digital transformation is opening up new possibilities to ensure Hamburg remains one of the world’s key ports in future, too. With smartPORT projects, the HPA leverages cutting-edge IT solutions to promote the optimisation of the flow of traffic and goods within the port. 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 and Port of Los Angeles, chainPORT is a cross-national partnership among the world’s leading ports. By sharing innovations or strategic topics, the members learn from each other and share their best practices. For example, an extensive debate on the impact of the digital revolution on ports is ongoing. Another central theme of the exchange is the efficient use of existing port infrastructure and the related optimization of investment decisions.

Events 2023

The three-day international exchange program based on empowering innovation in port ecosystems is organized by the Port Antwerp-Bruges this year.

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 Antwerp-Bruges , 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.

As part of the chainPORT initiative, the Port of Barcelona, with the support of other chainPORT members, has been organising the "Smart Ports: Piers of the Future" since 2019. It is an annual event that takes place in Barcelona but is also broadcast live on the following website. Smart Ports: Piers of the Future

Register and learn about the latest innovations in ports, presented and discussed by leading experts.


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 logistics by speaking with one voice towards policy makers and other relevant maritime stakeholders
  • Involve 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 promotes 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. chainPORT aims to bring together port authorities, their partners and customers to share experiences and develop common strategies for present and future issues. 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 using intelligent data systems jointly and openly exchanging information and ideas allow sustainable growth to become possible – growth which focuses not only the economy, but also ecology. In this way, chainPORT also opens up new routes towards 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 - Increase the security of port authorities to better resist cyber attacks;
  • Connected Ports - Assess the exchange of data between port authorities;
  • 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 - Development of ideas and solution proposals for predetermined challenges in a creative environment during a three-day event;

Improve the interfaces between the various players in the maritime logistics chain through cooperation and dialogue;​

Exchange of Best Practices on organizational initiatives to foster the digital culture change in port authorities and assessment of each organization's maturity in regard to the digital transformation;​

Continuous development of the competences of the employees in the partner ports and the intensive networking of the participants. The chainPORT Academy is an annual event that serves as a port network for the exchange of information on topics related to digitalization. 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.​

In 2020, the working group “Shaping the Digital Culture in Port Authorities” published a digital script (interactive “playbook”) on the learnings from crisis management during the Covid-19 pandemic. Five chainPORT members shared their digital solutions as best practices in crisis situations.

The aim was to develop a practical approach for port authorities to strategically manage global crisis situations with digital solutions.

chainPORT members have published the second Playbook edition in 2021 on how digital transformation can help ports become zero-emission.

This playbook was written for environmental port experts from port authorities to share their experiences towards a zero-emission port.

chainPORT Digital Playbook 2021 “Digital & Climate Change”
chainPORT Digital Plybook 2020 “Leveraging Digital Solutions for Crisis Management”