PortXchange pilot at Algeciras Port brings positive results

Early morning view of  Port of Algeciras - one of  largest ports in Europe. Spain

A six-week PortXchange pilot at Algeciras Port has resulted in improvements of idle time on departure and arrival of Maersk vessels.

The Port of Algeciras has been running a pilot project together with Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Marmedsa, and PortXchange to optimise port calls and thereby reduce emissions.

The aim of the pilot is to improve the end-to-end end port call process, including Just In Time Arrivals, through the implementation of the PortXchange platform.

The reduced idle times were achieved through the standardized data exchange and timely notifications about the planning status, according to a PortXchange statement.

PortXchange applies communication standards from the Taskforce Port Call Optimization to ensure everyone involved in the port call process speaks the same language. It also provides a centralised point for sharing real-time data to align all players during the port call.

The time that the ship is requested to arrive at the pilot boarding place depends on different factors, including the availability of the berth, metocean conditions, pilots, and tugs, amongst others.

During the last 48 hours before arriving at the port of call, many changes might happen. Timely updates between port authorities, terminals, shipping lines, and agents during these last hours are crucial for efficient port calls. However, if something changes at the last minute in practice, the vessel usually doesn’t have enough time to respond.

PortXchange aims to resolve this challenge by showing planning updates as soon as they occur. This allows the vessel to optimize its speed and decrease unnecessary emissions, for example, if the ETA berth is rescheduled to a later hour. 

Francisco de los Santos, Chief Information and Innovation Officer from the Algeciras Port Authority, is excited about the project: “Synchronization of port operations from a holistic perspective is key for Port of Algeciras competitiveness.

“With this goal in mind, we apply international standards to speak the same language and combine advanced tools like cloud computing, machine learning, and API to automate real-time data sharing and collaboration among all parties involved in a Port Call process.

“Although we have a local Port Collaboration platform in place, we are making efforts to remain “technology agnostic” and be ready to collaborate with any platform which can add value to the business. This pilot with PortXchange is a real example of collaboration and business focus. A step further to make port logistics more data-driven, transparent, efficient, and sustainable. “

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