A coalition of European ports and other stakeholders have launched SWINg, a platform to standardise data exchange for inland shipping.
The new project sees the Ports of Antwerp, Oostende, Zeebrugge and North Sea Port join forces with the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services and the Joint Nautical Management.
According to North Sea Port, skippers and inland shipping companies will only have to submit a single digital report containing their route, cargo and ship data for voyages on waterways in Flanders and on the Western Scheldt.
The online reporting platform receives the data through (existing) reporting software from the reporter and forwards it to all authorities on the shipping route.
SWINg offers administrative simplification, while also making inland shipping even safer and more efficient.
Those who already report digitally do not have to bring new software on board – the existing reporting software packages are being made compatible with SWINg.
North Sea Port said, “This collaboration and initiative, which also includes the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat (Department for waterways and infrastructure), and other actors, puts the partners involved among the forerunners in Europe in the field of digitization.”
The plan was initially announced in August 2020 as North Sea Port and the other participants unveiled plans to standardise inland shipping data and exchange.