The Antwerp Port Authority and Belgian Federal Participation & Investment Company (FPIM) are to jointly acquire a stake in NxtPort, a digital data platform for the port community.As informed, the contribution by the new partners – Antwerp Port Authority 75%, FPIM 25% – takes the form of capital plus a subordinated loan, together totaling EUR 5.25 million (USD 6.23 million).“With our participation we seek to contribute towards the further development of NxtPort as an innovative data platform that will be a driver of logistical, maritime and industrial innovation in our port, as well as offering gains in efficiency,” Jacques Vandermeiren, Antwerp Port Authority CEO, commented. “Big data is the fuel of the future economy, it is an engine of growth and change. So we have to back it in a big way,” he continued.Data is a crucial factor in the development of smart logistics processes. All the players in these processes have relevant data but for too long this data has been inadequately shared, resulting in delays and other inefficiencies. As explained, the platform was set up to improve the digital processing of the supply chains.“With NxtPort we aim to make this data transparent for all players in the supply chain. In this way we along with the other port players can develop the port of the future, where digitisation opens the way to smart, cost-efficient logistics,” Daniel Lievens, CEO of NxtPort, said.As the new partner, Port Authority will among other things have a say in the development of digital applications for the general interest. “As a Port Authority we already have open, public data that can serve as input for the platform, so as to facilitate a smooth flow of the data. This should enable us to build a powerful digital ecosystem that will benefit the entire port community,” Vandermeiren further said. “Efficient logistics processes will also lead to more efficient use being made of the limited amount of space in the port. The demand for smooth handling and the constantly increasing freight volumes can only be satisfied through a combination of having enough space available and offering efficient logistics processes. So naturally we are tackling both of these aspects together,” he concluded.