Container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) was established in 2018 from the merger between the former Japanese shipping companies K-Line, NYK Line and MOL. The bright pink ONE vessels are now also a familiar feature in the Port of Rotterdam. To improve the efficiency of port calls in Rotterdam, ONE has been working with the digital Port Call Optimization platform PortXchange (formerly known as Pronto) for several weeks.
ONE is currently one of the six largest carriers in the world. Vessel Scheduling for Europe and Africa is carried out in London. In Rotterdam, the team of Robin de Puij, Head of Operations, takes care of local monitoring of ONE vessels in the Port of Rotterdam and the contact with the terminals. The shipping company has some 350 calls per year in Rotterdam, which means that around ONE vessel per day arrives in the Port of Rotterdam.
Port Call Optimization
‘We were searching for a platform that would enable us to better monitor, analyse and optimise the approach to and handling of our vessels in the Port of Rotterdam,’ De Puij stated as reason for ONE’s choice for PortXchange. ‘Multiple parties offer solutions for this, but PortXchange is currently the best and most well-developed option. It contains good dashboards and warning and analysis tools. The whole port benefits from this platform if all parties involved in a port call enter the information into the platform. This offers fantastic opportunities to reduce costs and achieve environmental advantages.’
Vessels that need to wait and are anchoring cost a lot of money. That’s why it is important for ONE that vessels arrive in the Port of Rotterdam just-in-time. De Puij: ‘Sometimes you sail too fast, so you reach the next port too early and need to anchor. This results in waiting times as well as in unnecessarily high fuel consumption. That’s why we want to know in advance how much time we have until the next port. Via PortXchange, we receive the information we need to reach the Port of Rotterdam just-in-time.’
‘Via PortXchange, we receive the information we need to reach the Port of Rotterdam just-in-time.’
ONE can also use PortXchange to monitor, measure and analyse operations in the port. ‘We want to be able to stick to our sailing schedules. All activities related to a port call need to be implemented in time in the ports and according to planning. As well as the anchor time, we also aim to reduce the time between the end of operations at the terminal and the departure of the vessel. To achieve this, we’d like to have earlier insight into the arrival and departure times of bunker vessels, waste collectors and nautical service providers. Of course, the loading and unloading of containers also needs to run smoothly. It is also good to see that more and more Rotterdam terminals supply information via PortXchange regarding their operation times. This is essential for us to be able to leave the port quickly and report to the next port in time that we are on our way. The terminals also benefit from this. The faster and more accurately vessels can be handled and exchanged, the higher their productivity.’
Strong analysis tools
Not only the Rotterdam ONE team but also the London team’s initial experiences with PortXchange are positive. ‘Rotterdam’ and ‘London’ are still fine-tuning how they work with PortXchange via a weekly call. The first improvements regarding waiting time reduction are already visible, according to De Puij. ‘We’ve all worked really hard on this. And we receive a lot of support from PortXchange’s developers. The platform offers excellent opportunities to analyse port calls afterwards.
‘A platform such as PortXchange is really conducive to how the Port of Rotterdam functions,’ stated De Puij. ‘Improved forecasting and higher speeds make a huge contribution to the Rotterdam port community. An important condition is that all involved players share information. It would be even better if the surrounding ports also participated.’ The head office of ONE in Singapore is also following the work with PortXchange with interest. ‘Our head office has a strong focus on innovation and PortXchange fits well with this. Of course the platform developers will need to continue to consider the platform’s ongoing development.’