What is a Smart Bollard?

While resembling a standard dock bollard, the Smart Bollard offers advanced features to enhance the safety and efficiency of mooring operations. Positioned permanently on quays, this innovative bollard is equipped with sensors to measure the load on mooring lines. Such measurements translate the structural movement arising from mooring line tension, providing valuable data to port authorities, terminal operators, and vessels. This advanced bollard dock system can be used for all seagoing vessels, including cruise vessels and container and bulk carriers.

Portal Smart Bollard

Why a Smart Bollard?

Until now it has not been possible to measure the load on mooring lines using a bollard. The lack of exact load data for moored vessels means that ports have to assume maximum mooring loads. For the Port Authority and Terminal Operator it is important to know exactly what the loads on the mooring lines are, especially in case of bad weather, with high waves, strong currents, and gusts. If the loads on the lines are too high the ropes can break and the ship will detach from the quay, which may cause serious accidents. The use of Smart Bollards can prevent this from happening. They increase safety by giving a real-time overview of the loads on the mooring lines, and provide a better understanding of overall mooring forces as data is logged.

In addition to this, the Smart Bollard can also help the terminal or port to improve efficiency with the loading and unloading of vessels. For port operations, a ship must be fully stable whilst moored. Loose mooring lines can result in excessive movement of the ship as a result of passing vessels or high winds. Any excessive movement of the ship can potentially result in crane operators damaging the ship during loading/unloading operations. By constantly monitoring the loads on mooring lines, operators, crew, and port staff can ensure the load remains constant, and the ship remains stable. This will inevitably result in smoother, faster, and safer loading and unloading of cargo.

The monitoring and data collection from the Smart Bollards will lead to more efficient port operations, and help to prevent unsafe situations from arising while vessels are moored.



The system's Moorcontrol dashboard displays and logs pivotal data for analysis, such as:

  • Load on the bollard ship
  • Line direction and angle
  • Tide level
  • Weather conditions
  • Vessel history (using AIS data)

Administrators can conveniently add users, establish alarms, and integrate the data into other systems through the provided API.

Benefits of the Smart Bollard

  • Enhanced Safety: Real-time load monitoring and force predictions bolster safety measures for both operators and assets. 
  • Comprehensive Overview: A thorough understanding of mooring forces in diverse environments facilitates the efficient movement of vessels. 
  • Optimized Dock Capacity: Insights into quay capabilities might allow larger ships to be moored. 
  • Resource Efficiency: Accumulated data and force predictions could minimize the need for expensive resources, such as tugboats. 
  • Long-Term Data Insights: Continuous data collection provides a holistic view of the forces impacting berths and vessels, aiding in port development and refining operations.

Data connection Smart Bollard

The Smart Bollard offers versatile connectivity options, either through ethernet or wirelessly. An ethernet connection requires a separate switchbox for data transmission to the cloud, while wireless operations demand an on-site gateway.

Cloud and API

Data transmitted to the cloud (via AWS) is accessible in our portal. This portal also offers weather and current data and can accommodate a vessel database. Our system can seamlessly integrate with other systems through a standard API.

Do you want to know more about Smart Bollards?

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Smart Bollards at Port of Rotterdam

Straatman developed the Smart Bollard in close cooperation with the Port of Rotterdam. Along the quay of ECT Delta Terminal, the Port of Rotterdam has installed the Smart bollards. The product is in line with the ports policy of making the port more efficient through digitisation. At this moment, the Smart Bollards are installed on a large scale along the quays of the Port of Rotterdam and other ports like Port of Antwerp and the MCS terminal in Valencia 

Trial Smart Bolder ECT Rotterdam

Download here our Smart Bollard brochure

What to expect from Straatman


Over 50 years of experience in manufacturing

In-house production in The Netherlands

High quality products and excellent service level

Continuous innovation and improvement

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