The team at Ports of Jersey explains how digital solutions can make the Island’s transport hubs more efficient for passengers and freights
IN an era defined by accelerating technological advancements, the transport industry is moving rapidly towards digital transformation.
Jersey’s Airport and Harbour are both critical to the Island’s connectivity, and the integration of digital strategies into these vital transport hubs will enhance efficiency and ensure a seamless experience for passengers and freight.
Ports of Jersey was established by the States Assembly in 2015 to provide lifeline services and to create wider community and economic benefits. The Government of Jersey is our 100% shareholder, and we operate commercially so that we can fund the necessary multi-million-pound capital investment programme without any funding from taxpayers.
As a major Channel Island business, we pride ourselves in our central position in the community and are committed to making a positive difference to Island life. Now we stand at a critical juncture, ready to embrace the latest technology for a digital transformation of our services.
Our aspiration is to embed a culture of operational excellence, a digital mindset and a focus on customers’ needs to serve our community well.
Our customers and stakeholders are at the heart of what we do, and transforming the customer experience at the Airport and Harbour is one of our main priorities.
A large part of the work to improve our customer experience is encompassed by the digital strategy, which will be designed over the next five years and will ultimately transform the way we provide services. Passengers want a single, seamless experience with opportunities to individualise their journey, and we plan to harness new data and technology to be able to offer just that.
Mobile applications, self-service kiosks and digital signage can streamline check-in processes, provide real-time updates and offer personalised services. Digital wayfinding can guide passengers seamlessly through their journeys, reducing stress and enhancing overall satisfaction.
We want to understand our customers and foster greater satisfaction, enjoyment and pride among those using the Harbour and Airport, whether for business or pleasure, by creating systems which interact smoothly. For that, we need to manage our costs and grow our revenues so we can continually reinvest in our services.
Our digital strategy will deliver value to passengers and partners, enhance customer experience, empower our people, optimise operations and get the right information to the right place at the right time.
It will offer fast, hassle-free processes, an efficient platform to find all the services passengers need, and clear, relevant information targeted to individual customers.
It will make us more agile, efficient and customer-centric in an ever-evolving transport landscape.
Harnessing the power of data is essential for informed decision-making. Implementing advanced analytics and machine-learning algorithms enables airports and harbours to analyse vast amounts of data, to predict trends and identify areas for improvement. From predicting passenger traffic to optimising freight-handling, data-driven insights can help us to operate more efficiently.
Embracing a digital way of working will provide new ways to meet the expectations of modern travellers and business partners. This will better attract and retain passengers and business partners and further develop connectivity. Going digital can also support our people by giving them the tools to “work smarter”, for instance by streamlined baggage handling and passenger-queue monitoring. This will lead to increased resilience and agility, which will make travel disruptions easier to predict and navigate.
We will use this digital approach to data sharing to facilitate close collaboration with stakeholders and we will ensure that our Harbour and Airport masterplans benefit from digital enhancements. This approach will strengthen our financial foundation by maximising opportunities in areas like mobile services and personalised retail.
As we invest in a more digital way of working, we will be developing relationships with our aviation and maritime communities so that Ports of Jersey employees and our industry partners all benefit from sharing information.
We will provide training so our people can adopt new ways of working, identify tasks that can be automated and spend more of their time on the things that really matter. For example, by centralising data from all our business partners, everyone will receive the same information promptly, understand where they are needed and be able to provide face-to-face support for passengers within minutes.
This will enable closer collaboration across teams and build a culture of continuous learning.
A key driver for the incorporation of Ports of Jersey in 2015 was the need for significant investment in our ageing Harbour and Airport infrastructure, which was already evident then.
Since the pandemic, we have embarked on two major masterplans – for our Airport and Harbour infrastructure – which will see Ports of Jersey becoming one of the biggest investors in Jersey over the next ten to 15 years.
This new infrastructure will incorporate our digital strategy into its design. We will invest in cutting-edge technologies to create a modern and well-connected service for our passengers. Smart devices can monitor everything from passenger flows and baggage movements through our terminals to shipping traffic and freight handling. This real-time data enables us and our business partners to optimise operations, enhance security and respond swiftly to any issues.
Our goal is to make the most of available technology to implement our ambitious infrastructure projects and to enable smarter ways of working. If we are to thrive in today’s world, we must ensure our services meet the expectations of travellers, airlines, shipping logistics and all our commercial business partners.
The new port infrastructure at Elizabeth Harbour will provide critical resilience for our maritime supply chain for the next 30 years. It is critical that we maintain the Island’s lifeline freight, and our submitted plans are essential to increase capacity, flexibility and resilience in our freight-handling ability while also improving the passenger experience with a new terminal building.
We plan to regenerate our Harbour Estate, to create a vibrant waterfront of which we can all be proud. Our redevelopment of the Airport will provide capacity for evolving aircraft technologies and new digital technologies which improve efficiency and enable faster, easier and friendlier travel experiences.
And we will deliver these plans while being entirely self-financing and without creating a burden on taxpayers.
The vision set out by government for the ports sector is to build a more resilient, efficient, smart and sustainable sector that creates economic, environmental and social value for the whole of Jersey, helping to make our beautiful Island an even greater place to live, work and visit.
Our digital strategy will be fundamental in continuing to provide safe, secure and competitive services, which are responsive to the evolving needs of business, tourism and consumers, while ensuring the resilience of Jersey’s life-line links, by investing in critical gateway infrastructure.
An integrated digital platform will facilitate smoother operations by connecting Airport, Harbour, airlines, freight and passenger ferry companies, regulatory authorities and the wider community. Better analytics facilitate decision-making informed by a clear insight into real-time events, and accurate predictions of future service requirements.
Jersey is an amazing place for both visitors and residents but we need to meet the demands of tomorrow’s travellers. A comprehensive digital strategy will be a game-changer for our Airport and Harbour, and will help us to stay competitive and resilient in a fast-changing global landscape.
Embracing digitalisation will not only improve operational efficiency but also enhance the experience of passengers and stakeholders. As these transportation hubs continue to evolve, a robust digital strategy, led by our people, will be the compass guiding us to a more connected and efficient future.