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PortXchange looks to ‘coalitions of the willing’ to drive innovation and reduce emissions

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As PortXchange wraps up pilots of its optimisation solution in Algeciras and Houston it is inviting other parties interested in port call optimisation to join the club.

The platform has been built and tested in Rotterdam and then trialled in other ports by different parties.

“Next for PortXchange is a more global deployment of the platform based on the good results and learnings from these different trials. In 2021 we will move from doing trials, to doing regular onboardings of ports and parties to increase the impact,” Dita Bruijn, Director of Operations and PortXchange, told PTI.

“We cannot disclose any names yet as the details are being finalised, but we do invite parties interested in port call optimisation to let us know so they can become part of the ‘coalitions of the willing’ for pushing innovation and reducing emissions in the industry,” she said.

Established in 2019, PortXchange provides digital solutions to optimise operations and reduce emissions from the shipping industry.

After tremendous success in Rotterdam, PortXchange was launched in the ports of Felixstowe, Moerdijk, Algeciras, and Houston. Trusted by industry leaders worldwide, PortXchange optimises over 100,000 port calls globally.

Working in Algeciras

In a recent case study of port call optimisation with PortXchange, Dr. Francisco de los Santos, Chief Information & Innovation Officer at the Port of Algeciras, explained, “In managing the port call process, coordination among all parties involved is crucial.”

He said that the collaboration between Port of Algeciras and PortXchange has helped the Port take great strides in its goal of a more sustainable and efficient maritime supply chain.

“With the user-friendly PortXchange technology platform and the company’s ongoing guidance in its adoption, we are no longer operating on the basis of opinions and conjecture. Instead, making verified data accessible to each of the various actors involved, we are empowered to make more informed and strategic port call decisions.

“As a consequence of this improved accuracy and transparency, providing a consolidated and integrated view of port planning data within one central point of truth, vessels’ idle and waiting times can be dramatically reduced,” he said.

“One of our main objectives at Algeciras Port is to eliminate waste within port operations. In pursuing operational excellence, our intention is that idle and waiting time on arrival and departure should tend to zero,” Dr Santos explained.

“To that end, we envisage that the collaboration with PortXchange and the implementation of the tech platform in our port community — offering a real democratisation of data — could help to lower waiting and idle time, achieve a better utilisation of port assets, and minimise emissions of CO2 and NOX.”

Just-in-Time (JIT) arrivals can make a big impact to emissions on a global scale, Bruijn said.

“The supply chain is connecting the world and putting 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 into our atmosphere each year. If shipping on its own were a country, it would represent more emission than the whole of Germany in a year.

“I strongly believe we have to use the knowledge and technology we have available to us in 2021 to reduce emissions in any way we can and we know JIT arrivals could make a big impact on a global scale.“

Bulk and liquid bulk shipping

PortXchange is also now looking beyond container shipping and is beginning to target the bulk and liquid bulk markets.

When asked why this may be of interest, Bruijn said, “Because we look at the port and shipping industry as an eco-system, in which specific trades cannot be isolated to optimise.”

The only way to make shipping cleaner and more efficient is to optimise port calls for all trades, she said.

“A container vessel may very well depend on a bulk vessel for its departure from the port. The majority of the experience of PortXchange has been on the container side of the industry, which makes the platform very fit for container carriers, terminals, and so on,” Bruijn explained.

“In bulk we have less experience but the same ambition. We are learning – together with the industry – how to optimise bulk port calls and achieve JIT arrival which operationally, commercially and contractually works very differently in the bulk trade.”

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