Hapag-Lloyd has concluded a cooperation agreement with US supplier XVELA, which will make it the first container shipping line to pilot test cloud-based stowage-planning software.
Stowage-planning and cargo data of the individual ships in ports will be available in real-time for both the shipping company and the terminal.
The shipping company will be able to see the progress of loading and unloading operations on an ongoing basis, hence in theory, allowing it to deploy its ships more efficiently.
Terminals expect to gain continual transparency regarding the state of stowage planning for an expected ship, potentially allowing them to allot equipment and staff in a timely and reliable fashion.
The aim is to reduce unexpected changes at short notice in the coastal schedule as well as unnecessary waiting times for both sides according to a statement from the German carrier.
Jörn Springer, head of Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet support centre, said: “The more transparency there is throughout the transport chain, the more efficiently everyone involved can make plans for and employ their assets and resources. We anticipate that this new software will give us important operative advantages. Cloud-based solutions such as XVELA can provide us with real-time data, making it possible for us to considerably improve the exchange of information with terminals.”
The fleet support centre’s 10-person team, located in Hamburg, monitors the entire fleet of both owned and chartered vessels, focusing on savings particularly in vessel fuel consumption.
Christopher Mazza, vice president and chief customer officer of XVELA said: “As an ocean carrier, Hapag-Lloyd understands that collaboration with terminals is essential to improving their operational efficiency and effectively managing their stowage planning and execution.”
“Two-way communication with our customers is vital to developing a solution that will not only be embraced by both ocean carriers and terminal operators, but will also catalyse a much-needed shift in the way the two work together,” he added.
Separately, in December 2015, Hartmut Goeritz, head of APM Terminals’ (APMT) hub terminal portfolio, told CM that APMT was engaged in discussions with shipping lines to make their block stowage patterns more terminal operator friendly.
“Terminals are the biggest vessels for shipping lines,” he said.