Port of Rotterdam preparing for annual World Port Hackaton

On September 4-5, the Port of Rotterdam is to hold the third edition of what has now become its annual World Port Hackaton. Hackers, programmers, stakeholders and enthusiasts are invited to attend the two-day event and join the teams. Together they will work on concepts and prototypes that deploy new technologies and (open) data, aiming to strengthen the safety, sustainability and competitiveness of the port.

The organisation and stakeholders are currently defining the challenges that will be taken up at this year’s hackaton. Over the next weeks, these challenges will be laid out into detailed briefings that will be published prior to the event. The three main topics are:

Tools, topics and technologies include Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), open data, mobile apps, sensor networks, AIS, Augmented Reality (AR), concept development, design thinking, gamestorming, design fiction, and gamification.

Water apps

The World Port Hackaton is held together with the Wereldhavendagen (World Port Days). It was originally an initiative of the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Leon Gommans, who previously worked at the department for Communication, Media and Information Technology at the Hogeschool Rotterdam.

Apps that were built during the second World Port Hackaton in 2014 include a timeline application showing the sea-side port logistics. When a ship enters the port, all sorts of logistic processes are launched, Gommans explains. Using the AIS system, we can deduct the current state from the meeting with various service vessels.


Last year, Teqplay, a technology playground set up by Gommans, participated in the National App Award, organised by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and won the first prize in the Water category. Their ‘Ligplaats Vrij’ (Berth Available?) app — “the parking space app of the water” — combines AIS information and the coordinates of berths in the port of Rotterdam to show skippers the availability of berths.