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Towards a green and sustainable ecosystem for the EU Port of the Future

PortForward will attempt to address important challenges that today’s ports are facing, in order to take a substantial step towards the Port of the Future. More specifically the following needs are addressed:

  • Lack of efficiency in operations with heterogeneous freights (roll-on/roll-off cargo, containers), such as inefficient land use, berth scheduling and quay crane allocation, quay crane scheduling and bay sequencing, yard con-figuration and stacking policies, and lack of monitoring of the depth of access channels and quays, which varies due to silting
  • Need for real time monitoring of freight flows through the use of end-to-end track-and-trace solutions in order to optimize port activities.
  • Need for remote monitoring and management of important port operations, such as maintenance scheduling, cargo and passenger traffic, especially for short sea shipping cases
  • Interconnection with hinterland transportation with special focus on inland waterways
  • Interface with the surrounding urban environment
  • Experience sharing and transferability to other intermodal transport hubs (ports, airports, etc.)
  • Environmental impact reduction through the use of green technologies and energy solutions saving

Professor Mansouri, as Brunel’s PI, will be leading a work package on Green Scheduling and Sustainability of Operations for the development of a novel green yard scheduler (GYS) for yard operations as a core component of the PortForward decision support system (DSS) to enhance environmental sustainability of port operations in close collaboration with the port of Vigo and LeiTaT from Spain.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Afshin Mansouri - Afshin Mansouri is a Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management and the Director of Research in Brunel Business School, Brunel University London. He holds PhD, MSc, and BSc Degrees in Industrial Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology. Alongside academic education, he has worked for a number of business organisations in the areas of production and project management. Prior to joining Brunel University in 2007, he has held academic and research positions at the University of Tours, University of Tehran, and King’s College London. His reseach interests include Sustainable operations management; Humanitarian operations and disaster management; Data-driven decision making; and  Business analytics. His research on humanitarian supply chain management for disaster relief in Iran has been funded by ESRC. Professor Mansouri is a pioneer in the area of green scheduling and is working to extend new applications of this concept in maritime as well as manufacturing sectors. He is principal investigator of the EU Horizon 2020 project PortForward that aims at improving sustainability of port operations, and co-investigator of Horizon 2020 project Z-Fact0r that aims to enhance sustainability of manufacturing operations in Europe. He was also co-investigator and leader of the scientific work package of the EU FP7 funded project MINI-CHIP which aimed to minimise carbon footprint in maritime shipping, co-investigator of EU Horizon 2020 project CLOUD-VAS that aimed at developing a cloud-based decision support system for vessel chartering, and co-investigator of a collaborative research funded by BAM and ANZAM to investigate supply chain collaboration among agribusiness SMEs in UK and Australia in the post-Brexit era. He has also received research funding from Brunel University to investigate the role of multi-objective optimisation as a decision aid in build-to-order supply chains. Afshin is member of the EPSRC Peer Review Associate College, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science (INFORMS).

Related Research Group(s)

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability - Our focus is on how individuals, businesses and societies can tap into creative and entrepreneurial flair to develop innovative solutions, in order to not only create economic value, but also solve social and environmental problems.


Project last modified 21/06/2021