Logistics chain to benefit from information standards

Port of Rotterdam PRA has become the first party in the world to run projects in which the international standards for nautical port information are applied

Establishing international standards for nautical port information will enable logistics chain efficiency, the Port of Rotterdam Authority (PRA) has said.

The port stated the implementation of the standards this week mean it can communicate with its customers using the same functional definitions, avoiding a lot of discussions about issues such as “minimum depth and maximum draught, or arrival time pilot boarding place versus arrival time berth.”

"With these standards as a base, we can not only optimise the services to our clients," said Allard Castelein, president of PRA, "but also develop new services that make the logistics chain more efficient."

Task force

Communicating information about depth, admission policy and arrival and departure times in different ways was not efficient in planning shipping, said PRA. The standards ensure that the nautical data onboard vessels corresponds to the information from the port, as well as the information used in the logistics chains.

They were developed by the Port Call Optimisation Task Force (Shell, Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM and the ports of Algeciras, Busan, Gothenburg, Houston, Rotterdam, Singapore and Ningbo Zhoushan) in conjunction with the International Harbour Masters' Association, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office and GS1.

The first general port information and sounding charts using these functional definitions are already available through Port of Rotterdam website.

Increased safety

The standards enable increased safety and the ability to maintain lower margins, which eventually results in vessels calling at ports faster and with more cargo, said PRA.

This will lead to a reduction in costs and pollution, it added. The initial calculations amount to up to USD$80,000 in additional revenue and savings of 240t in CO2 emissions per port visit, depending on where the vessel comes from and at which berth it is located.

PRA has become the first party in the world to run projects in which the standards are applied. Its web portal Avanti focuses on 'master data' such as depth and admission policy, while Pronto is a communication platform for the port community. The platform assists agents and other operators with a more transparent and efficient planning of services for ships, such as pilotage, use of terminals and bunker services.

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