Port of Rotterdam launches app to cut vessel waiting times

Port of Rotterdam launches app to cut vessel waiting times
The port receives 30,000 vessels annually

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has presented the first version of Pronto, its new digital application, aiming to cut waiting times for ships visiting the port by an average of 20%.

The application is meant to enable effective utilisation of capacity at the port terminals, as well as the precise planning and coordination of a range of vessel services, including bunkering, servicing and maintenance and provisioning.

In reducing the length of time that vessels stay at port, the app is also meant to help reduce CO2 emissions.

It is envisaged that users would include shipping companies, agents, service providers and terminal operators.

The port authority’s chief financial officer Paul Smits said: “The application allows all users to optimally plan, execute and monitor activities throughout the entire port call. This yields concrete benefits for all parties involved.

“The uniform mutual exchange of standardised data allows port calls to be planned more effectively and efficiently and rounded off in a shorter period of time.”

The port authority tested Pronto over the past year in its development phase and will now be making the app available to members of the port community either in exchange for data or a fee.

“We expect more and more terminals in the port to start using Pronto, which in turn will increase the accuracy of the data it generates,” added Smits.

To plan the calls from the 30,000 sea-going vessels which visit the Port of Rotterdam each year, shipping companies need detailed information about factors including water depths, admission policies and arrival and departure times.

There has been a global standard for these types of nautical and port information since September 2017.

Ed Barsingerhorn, general manager of shipping and maritime, Europe and Africa, from Shell, which participated in the pilot, said: “We have reduced the waiting time up to 20% for departing ships. It is essential that all parties involved in the process, including terminal and agent, work closely together and share relevant data.

“When we exchange time stamp data not only in Rotterdam but also between ports, the improvement potential increases significantly. Ships can sail optimally laden and arrive just-in-time through better planning.”

The app’s users will be able to input date using the Pronto dashboard or directly into their own systems via API interfaces.

As soon as a vessel’s estimated arrival time becomes known, it is assigned its own timeline within Pronto, specifying every activity that the vessel will be involved in during its port call, from its arrival and stay in the port to its departure.

The application combines public data, data supplied by participating companies and predictions generated by artificial intelligence.