BESPORT, a VTT-coordinated joint Finnish-Chinese innovation action, has committed over €8 million in the next three years, with funding support of €3.8 million from Business Finland, to collaboratively address maritime industry’s major challenges, including electrification, digitalization, and operational optimization towards smart and green ports. Visy brings into the consortium its expertise on artificial intelligence, access control, and cargo flow understanding.


The BESPORT consortium consists of 6 Finnish maritime and port companies, Awake.AI, Kalmar (part of Cargotec Finland), Fintraffic, IOXIO, Steveco, and Visy, alongside VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

With a clearly defined focus, BESPORT is poised to leverage Digital Twin, Big Data, and AI technologies to comprehensively tackle the research and development challenges associated with port decarbonization, digitalization, and operational optimization. The initiative will adopt a case-driven approach, not only focusing on the creation of novel methods, algorithms, frameworks, physical and digital platforms, innovations, and solutions, but also prioritizing the testing, evaluation, and validation of their potential in numerous pilots, demonstrations, and case studies. The aim is to demonstrate practical applicability and scalability in solving real-life challenges encountered by partners and the broader industry within port environments.


Visy’s role in BESPORT includes a dedicated company project concentrating on the advancement of novel technologies for enhanced digitalization of access control, logistics, and asset management in ports.


Over the years, Visy has developed innovative sensor systems to gain better control over critical details and has created advanced algorithms and tools to understand traffic and cargo flows within and around ports. In the BESPORT initiative, Visy plans to elevate port situational awareness at various points, including gates, quaysides, yards, hinterlands, and beyond. The objective is to reduce cargo movements, alleviate congestion, and streamline turnaround times, ultimately leading to lower operational costs and emissions. This development will be centered around data collected through Visy’s state-of-the-art systems, with a core focus on creating novel AI and Big Data algorithms and engines, such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and sensor fusion, capable of handling diverse situations.

Heikki Huttunen, CTO of Visy Oy, notes: “Visy Oy, despite being an SME, is a key global provider of OCR and AI-based terminal automation solutions. This project presents a unique opportunity for collaboration with leading partners in the industry. Additionally, it serves as a strategic pathway for entering the Chinese market. In this initiative, our focus will center on four innovative technologies that enhance the level of digitalization in access control, logistics, and asset management within international ports.”


The successful execution of BESPORT is anticipated not only to generate substantial scientific and technological knowledge and confer global competitive advantages but, more significantly, to bolster Finland’s leading position in port digitalization and decarbonization on the global stage. Ultimately, the initiative aims to make global ports more productive, cost-effective, and sustainable both from a business and environmental perspective.