3 Smart Port Calls: streamlining ship calls through digitalization  

 Many actors are involved in the port call operations and reporting activities prior, during and after a port call to any given port. Sharing port call information digitally will reduce the number of manual interactions needed to complete a port call and allow for port call synchronization to optimize port operations. This is very much in line with the principles within the FEDeRATED project, as described in M. Lind & M. Renz’sarticle Do Maritime Authorities Have a Role in the Digitalization of Shipping? published in the online journal The Maritime Executive in summer 2020.

There are several ongoing and planned projects to facilitate information flows in a port call, such as the very recently completed Interreg Central Baltic project EfficientFlow, aimed at practical implementation of the concepts Sea Traffic Management and Port Collaborative Decision Making, and initiatives to implement technologies and ideas from other modes of transport in the maritime contextWithout coordination, local solutions will be developed that might hamper the overall pace of digitalization as a lack of standards and widely adopted solutions complicates integration. To increase collaboration and speed up the pace of digitalization among our stakeholders, we created a national collaboration arena in Sweden in March 2020 by gathering the actors directly involved in a port call under a common program, “Efficient port calls through Digitalization”. The overarching ambition for all players involved is to lowerthe administrative costsassociated with a port call and lower the ship’s turnaround time – to gain in efficiency, reduce costs, and to reduce CO2 emissions. The common denominator for all involved actors is the understanding that none of us can achieve any significant results or real change without close collaboration, as the information flows and operations areinterlinked and dependent upon one another. Of course, since shipping by nature moves beyond national boundaries, a national collaboration arena must consider and adhere to international development to ensure solutions are compatible with global standardsOn the global scale, increased efficiencyof port call information exchange is undertaken by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) facilitation committee in the work on establishing a reference data model for port calls called the IMO Compendium on facilitation and electronic business.

An example of a crucial piece of information in planning the flow of goods in and out of ports is a ship’s estimated time of arrival (ETA) to berthToday however, this information is difficult to obtain for all involved stakeholders in the port call operations. Implementation of information sharing platformcompliant to FEDeRATEDprinciples of interoperability will offer a viable solution to create a transparent chain of information in the port call process, where the right information reaches the right actor, at the right time.Better predictability in port call operations is of course also a prerequisite to optimize hinterland transports, as the logistics chain seldom stops in the port area.  

Under the FEDeRATEDscope, SMA will launch pilots to develop and test solutions to support connected platforms to shareinformationAn example is our living lab GötaÄlv thataims to create a better flow of information among relevant actors on the Swedish river GötaÄlvThe overall ambition is to establish sharing of live traffic flow data,to enable optimization of bridge openings and lock operations considering all three modes of traffic (road, rail and fairway). Another example is to support the basic principle and idea with port call coordination by allowing port call actors to share their estimated and actual times in the port call process digitally, to increase supply chain transparencyfacilitate process optimization and enable supply chain visibility. By utilizing available streams of information, stemming from the onboard systems, different reporting parties, and service providers, we can create a cluster of digital services to enable information sharing between public administrations, private maritime stakeholders and eventually hinterland actors. Using a distributed federated network of platforms to interconnect supply chain actors (regardless of mode of transport) will increase transparency and create a better planning horizon. This allows for individual process optimization to strengtheneach link in the global supply chain, and in the end contributes to create sustainable ways to transport goods and also people. The FEDeRATED project has produced an article on greening which elaborates a bit on the sustainability aspect to digital data sharing:Digital data sharing for green transport – a FEDeRATED approach - The Loadstar.


The FEDeRATED project is cofinanced  by the EC Connecting  Europe Facility (CEF)

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This project is co-funded by the European Commission Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)