Challenge: Lack of transparency and knock-on effect delays during the port calls
During a port call, many different operations should be performed at just the right time, and even a minor delay in one step cascades down through the entire port call process. For many ports, the key challenge is a dysfunction in the coordination of all the different operations due to the lack of timely information exchange between the parties.
For example, when the vessel has completed cargo operations and is ready to sail, the pilot often won’t receive this information on time, leading to the vessel sitting idle at the berth awaiting pilot arrival. The vessel departure delay not only hampers the terminal productivity but also results in the service level agreement breach and penalties for the Port Authorities.
Solution: End-to-end port call visibility and improved stakeholder cooperation
The Port of Algeciras is an innovative port that for years has already implemented digital solutions to successfully face these challenges.
In 2020, the port started using PortXchange Synchronizer to improve visibility into the port call process and create a single point of truth. All the parties involved in the port call share their planning schedules with the Synchronizer platform, creating common situational awareness about what is happening and what is expected to happen. “With the PortXchange platform we make verified data accessible to each of the various actors involved in a port call, and we are empowered to make better informed and strategic port call decisions,” says Jesus Medina Blanco Chief Information and Innovation Officer.
If a planned activity is not performed or is unlikely to be completed on time, the platform issues automatic warnings, allowing users to proactively adjust their planning and resolve operational conflicts before they even occur. In this way, the parties are able to better coordinate and synchronize their operations, making the port call more efficient and predictable.
The system also issues automatic notifications, when certain port call milestones are reached. For example, instead of waiting for the manual updates from the vessel and/or the terminal, the agent would receive the “cargo completion” notification in real-time, allowing him to order pilots in advance, streamlining the vessel rotation and cutting departure delays.
Results: Reduced idle time and CO2 emissions
By improving visibility into the port call planning, everyone involved in a port call is able to allocate their resources most efficiently, avoiding wasting time or causing delays. As a result, the port of Algeciras was able to reduce the idle time per vessel arrival/departure by nearly 40% .
By using Synchronizer the Port of Algeciras succeed to facilitate Just In Time Arrivals (JIT).
JIT Arrivals are widely recognized as a means of making ports more efficient, sustainable and further optimizing the port call process. The concept is based on the idea that the vessel can maintain an optimum operational speed to arrive at the pilotage point when availability is guaranteed. By providing information about the availability of berths, tugs, and pilots to the vessel on time, the Port of Algeciras helped to facilitate JIT, reducing on average 32,9 tons of CO2 per port call.
Port of Algeciras
Jesus Medina Blanco, Chief Information and Innovation Officer at the Port of Algeciras said “Synchronization of port operations from a holistic perspective is key for Port of Algeciras competitiveness. With this goal in mind, we apply international standards to speak the same language and combine advanced tools like cloud computing, machine learning, and API to automate real-time data sharing and collaboration among all parties involved in a Port Call process.
Although we have a local Port Collaboration platform in place, we are making efforts to remain “technology agnostic” and be ready to collaborate with any platform which can add value to the business. This pilot with PortXchange is a real example of collaboration and business focus. A step further to make port logistics more data-driven, transparent, efficient, and sustainable. The technology is ready, now it is time to make an impact with it.” Have a look at the interview with Jesus Medina Blanco, Chief Information and Innovation Officer at the Port of Algeciras, to learn first-hand how data sharing solutions help port authorities reduce idle time.