Having redeveloped its World of Ports portal from the ground up over the last 18 months, Inchcape Shipping Services has rolled out the first release of Version 2.0 focusing on Port Data and ship-to-berth compatibility. VP of Sales & Product Development Jeff Clark says this and an abundance of new features in upcoming releases will provide customers with an unmatched level of market intelligence and transparency.
World of Ports was launched in 2007 and has been available online since 2010. “The service was born out of an initial request from a customer for a dataset their chartering team could work with to make their cargo operations more efficient,” says Jeff Clark, VP of Sales & Product Development. “From there we launched a solution that now serves as a single source of trusted data for all our customers spanning oil and gas majors, shipping companies and ship managers globally.”
The key differentiator versus other port intelligence providers is that the data is collected directly from Inchcape’s worldwide agency network, and is verified by a centralized team of data analysts with seafaring backgrounds. The team is managed by a Master Mariner while all have first-hand knowledge of both risks and practical issues. “The value isn’t just in what we publish, but in leveraging that information. Speaking the same language as our clients and partners builds trust and allows for targeted inquiries and quick replies. Simply put, we’re on the same page.”
World of Ports 2.0 covers 4,600 ports, 16,000 terminals and 36,000 individual berths around the world. The revamp is backed by a new expanded vision to be the best available decision-making tool in the marine assurance space harnessing reliable global knowledge in near real time. “The strength and variety of data we gather day in and day out allowed us to define an ambitious roadmap for the service. In addition to the improved user interface, we’ve split it into four modules with loads of new features that can really help to enhance customers’ competitive advantage,” says Clark.
The Port Data module just released will be followed over the next 12 months by a Port Cost Estimator module and Port Performance module, as well as Market Intelligence. “Together they will help the marine assurance and operations community to plan and benchmark voyages in ways that were unthinkable just a few years ago,” says Clark.
The Port Data module enables charterers to perform automated due diligence on their operations by combining comprehensive data on port parameters and restrictions with vessel data to identify optimal ship-to-berth compatibility. “Anything that makes cargo operations more predictable is a winner,” says Clark. “We’re going from a single source of trusted data to a single source of truth for ports, terminals and berths globally.”
Key new features include a one-stop search function using new advanced search filters. “You can search using a vessel’s IMO number, its name or by generic vessel size and type. Then you can select the region, country or port you want to look at and retrieve only the compatible locations that apply to a specific vessel or fleet,” he adds.
Freeing up precious time
The functionality is based on a combination of WoP’s proprietary port dataset with AIS data and a third-party vessel database. The overall advantage is saving time, allowing chartering teams to use more of their time on unlocking business advantage. Clark says this is especially useful for smaller companies with manual systems and limited resources. “Having this kind of online service means they no longer have to collect and update information themselves, and is a huge step in terms of timesaving.”
Vessel tracking has been integrated to enable monitoring of arrivals and departures in port of 50,000 vessels worldwide, but it goes a major step further by geocoding and geofencing all ports, terminals and berths. “Geofencing basically reduces the ambiguity (or duplication) of all locations, so we can track port calls as well as vessel line-up and congestion within port,” says Clark.
‘Gold’ record of port calls
Inchcape’s proprietary algorithms also allow customers to see if a vessel is laden or in ballast, predicts the vessel’s cargo type and estimates the quantity of cargo on board. “Geofencing within our application and the port database detailing estimated cargo loaded or discharged at each berth creates a ‘gold’ record for each port call in near real time,” says Clark. “That gives our customers much greater transparency for every port call.”
Shipping companies want to know what vessels and cargo are doing and what this does is allow them to track their specific commodity flow(s). The upcoming Market Intelligence module will build on that to provide insight on commodity flow at the global level, among other new features. “But we don’t want to jump the gun by detailing them all just yet,” says Clark.
Port Data customization includes the ability to set up alerts for arrivals and departures at berth and congestion alerts showing if ships are at or waiting for a berth. Time stamps are another feature, not only for arrival and departures, but on all data in the system. “Companies can then use the status of data in reporting or verification to the authorities,” says Clark. Customers can also set up their own geofencing alerts for piracy zones and Emission Control Areas. “This enhances transparency and helps to mitigate risk,” says Clark.
Vessel surveillance is not new per se. “Version 2.0 mirrors the huge drive towards digital data sharing, and it’s all done using open-source data that is accessible to everyone,” Clark says. “We’re not the first to do it, but how we’re layering the data and making it work to provide competitive insight is new, and unique.”
Predictability in uncertain times
With ever-stricter emissions requirements, fuel prices on a roller coaster and markets shifting in tandem with geopolitical agendas, it seems the “new normal” for shipping is constant change. “Unexpected events and disruptions to trade patterns are outside our sphere of control, but what we can do is enhance predictability at the port level,” says Clark. World of Ports 2.0 already provides detailed and frequently updated information on mandatory port and terminal documentation and environmental regulations, so customers are fully informed as to compliance requirements for each call.
“Data on turnaround times based on vessel type and commodity, and port congestion in near real time will feature in the Port Performance module coming up, and there will also be an optimization tool that will help ships adjust their sailing speed to save fuel,” says Clark.
Meanwhile, the global coronavirus pandemic has thrown up some novel challenges for shipping and ports. How is World of Ports helping stakeholders cope? “Information is the key,” says Clark. “We didn’t activate the news alert functionality in the first Port Data release, but it will come later in the year. Receiving port-critical updates in real time will ensure customers and the wider maritime community are ready and prepared for any new Covid-19 flare-ups and future pandemics. Our team have in any case been publishing frequent port and crew implication updates on our corporate website, which since the start of the pandemic has seen over 223,249 page visits. It’s a small contribution in the great scheme of things, but feels good nevertheless.”
This article is sponsored by Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS).
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
NOAA Fisheries announced Friday that it will cancel five out of its six large-scale research surveys in Alaskan waters this year due to COVID-19. The canceled surveys include the Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey, the eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the northern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the Bering Sea pollock acoustics survey, and […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Tigers has launched a new dedicated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) section on its eShop, powered by its freight portal SmartHub:Connect. The global logistics and transportation company has also released new software updates for SmartHub:Connect, giving customers shortcuts to buy and process documentation for the shipment of PPE. Tigers is also managing the door-to-door transport of […]