Business Situation

Ports are the lifeblood of many economies around the world, and there is fierce competition to stay ahead. Washington state has implemented a “blue economy” strategy to help create a thriving and sustainable maritime industry through 2050 and beyond. Washington Maritime Blue – a nonprofit, strategic alliance of key maritime stakeholders formed to accelerate innovation and sustainability – has a mission to implement this strategy.

The Tacoma Tideflats and the people who work in and around the area would benefit from the digitalization of transportation, including real-time awareness of port operations, just-in-time arrival of vessels and lower carbon emissions due to shorter waiting times for port calls. An enterprise-grade private 5G network would establish the infrastructure for those working in the Tideflats to use technology more effectively to modernize operations.

To bring this strategy to life, Washington Maritime Blue tasked the 5G Open Innovation Lab, Avanade and TTS Wireless Amdocs to perform a network feasibility study for building a 5G network in the area.

“To achieve our goals, we’re looking for ways to modernize port operations by exploring different technology use cases. This is an essential next step to maintain and support the growth of the maritime industry and blue economy.”

Joshua Berger Founder and CEO, Washington Maritime Blue


Avanade conducted a series of interviews and workshops that uncovered specific use cases and identified the business value and technology pathway to build and use a private 5G network across the Tideflats. Using a design-thinking mindset, we arrived at a set of overarching themes, including:

  • Improving safety
  • Enabling a sustainable future
  • Orchestration and efficiency
  • Infrastructure modernization

A common opportunity in all scenarios is a unifying desire for ecosystem data sharing across trucking, rail, ships and the environment to bring together a more holistic operating view.


The study confirms there’s an opportunity for using a private 5G network in the Tacoma Tideflats. It outlines both the business value and the technology pathway to build and use this network to become a global leader in advancing port operations, advanced manufacturing and environmental services.

Learn more about how Avanade Advisory can help you create and orchestrate practical digital transformation strategies that achieve outcomes faster.

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