Direct sharing of voyage plan schedules

Port of Rotterdam is one of the leaders in digitalisation among European ports Port of Rotterdam is one of the leaders in digitalisation among European ports

Sea Traffic Management (STM), and Port of Rotterdam have established electronic exchange of arrival times between ships and the port. 300 ships in the STM Validation Project are now able to share their voyage plan schedules, directly from their ECDIS/navigation system, with Port of Rotterdam electronically.

This will improve the quality and predictability of arrival info in port systems and navigation systems onboard. The updates of the planned time of arrival are shared automatically, which reduces the need for manual communication. When the port authority adjusts the planned time of arrival, the update is automatically transmitted to the ship and displayed as a text message onboard.

However, STM is about standardization rather than specific solutions. The integration with Port of Rotterdam re-uses the same standard data formats, APIs and authentication mechanism via the Maritime Connectivity Platform, as many other services in the STM project, which is co-financed by the European Union. Several leading ECDIS and VTS system providers already support these standards in their products. Integration with systems in other ports will therefore be simple say STM advocates.

“We use the same components again and again; integrating with an existing system is a matter of weeks. We are here to help,” says solution architect Per Löfbom at the Swedish Maritime Administration.

“Port of Rotterdam is one of the leaders in digitalisation among European ports and the cooperation is highly valued by the STM project. Many ships in the STM project are calling Rotterdam regularly, and having the biggest port in Europe connected to STM adds to the usefulness for participating ships,” says Per Setterberg, operational project manager for the STM Validation Project.

“For speeding up digitalization in shipping it is very important that multiple initiatives like STM, the International Taskforce Port Call Optimization and leading providers of e.g. ECDIS and VTS systems start promoting the same industry standards,” says Ben van Scherpenzeel, chair of the Taskforce.

The STM Validation Project will demonstrate the STM concept in large-scale test beds in both the Nordic and Mediterranean Seas, encompassing around 300 vessels, 13 ports and 5 shore based service centres as well as using the European Maritime Simulator Network.

By Jake Frith

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