PortXchange implements PilotTracker platform in the Port of Houston


PortXchange Products B.V. has announced that it has successfully completed the migration of users from the Greater Houston Port Bureau’s (GHPB) Harborlights Vessel Tracking System (Harborlights) to its proprietary PortXchange PilotTracker (PilotTracker) platform.

PortXchange is a Netherlands-based digital solutions provider for predictable and sustainable shipping. Its latest product—PilotTracker—is the next-generation platform for real-time pilot scheduling and vessel movement information.

It was successfully developed in partnership with GHPB and the Houston Pilots six months after the announcement of a five-year digitalisation partnership.

Sjoerd de Jager, PortXchange’s Managing Director, said: “I’d like to thank our key partners: the Greater Houston Port Bureau and the Houston Pilots for a truly collaborative effort. The migration of the users from one system to another is always a challenging change management project, which in this case proved very successful.

“All the positive responses from the Houston community on the user interface and functionality makes for a very strong, robust and sustainable proposition with a clear added value to the Houston community. We now have an out-of-the-box solution that can be implemented in other ports across the world.”

PilotTracker allows marine exchanges, port authorities or pilot organisations to share pilot scheduling and vessel movement information to port communities and their customers in the most streamlined and user-friendly manner.

PilotTracker is integrated into the pilot’s booking system, meaning that the pilot information is updated in real-time directly from the source.

The tracker builds upon the existing functionality of the retired Harborlights platform with significant enhancement, including vessel movement information and filtering functionality, port closure status updates, email notifications, booking agent information, extensive vessel information, terminal and berth restrictions and an interactive map with live vessel tracking.

Capt. Bill Diehl, President of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, said: “The Port of Houston has grown to be the top US port by trailblazing better processes, infrastructure, and technology. The improved data transparency from PilotTracker increases business predictability, making this an essential step forward for us to remain efficient and globally competitive.”

Dutch digital solution providers PortXchange agreed a new five-year partnership with Greater Houston Port Bureau (GHPB) to work on the adoption and development of PortXchange’s proprietary system.

The Greater Houston Port Bureau (Port Bureau) and the Port of Rotterdam’s PortXchange (PXP) launched the Houston trial of the PXP port planning software on 8 June 2020.

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