Container shipping groups and a harbour vessel operator have joined forces to optimise port calls and operations
Singapore-based PSA Marine has launched Vessel Pilot Communication (VPC), following a successful trial period. The digital solution aims to reduce shipping emissions and improve the efficiency of port operations.
Via VPC, critical updates on pilot boarding times and traffic conditions in and around the pilot boarding grounds are communicated to vessel masters.
Large container shipping groups have already signed up to use VPC, including Yang Ming, Ocean Network Express (ONE) and CMA CGM.
Timely updates enable ship masters to adjust their vessels’ speed and time their arrival into Singapore, improving fuel optimisation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
PSA Marine provides pilotage services in Singapore and it says the VPC initiative supports the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s call for decarbonisation and sustainability efforts.
“We are delighted to garner support from the major shipping lines in our digitalisation and decarbonisation journey,” said PSA Marine head of digital transformation and chief pilot Jimmy Koh.
“During the pilot trial, the participating shipping lines have provided valuable feedback on the VPC digital solution,” he said.
These digital solutions will also help in tug dispatching for ship escort and towage and pilot delivery.
“With [VPC’s] launch, all vessels calling at the Port of Singapore can benefit from information that can help them play their part in environmental sustainability,” said Mr Koh.
ONE senior vice president of global vessel operations Takashi Kase outlined the potential benefits to shipping lines.
“We expect the new procedure of ship-shore communication will contribute [to] more optimised traffic and pilotage at one of the world’s busiest channels, and further improve operational efficiency,” Mr Kase said.
Yang Ming (Singapore) managing director Dannis Lee showed a similar sentiment: “With VPC, there is significant improvement in the way we monitor our fleet. Our ship masters will be notified of any changes to the pilot boarding time by the VPC.
“With information of the traffic conditions available on the VPC, our ship masters can adjust the vessels’ speed to derive a more accurate estimated time of arrival at the Port of Singapore. This enables our vessels to achieve a more efficient fuel consumption and allows us to contribute towards decarbonisation.”
VPC is a module of PSA Marine’s OneHandShake digital platform for sharing information on port activities with a network of maritime stakeholders.
CMA CGM vice president for group operations Nicolas Romero said VPC will be used in conjunction to other ship-shore communications and data sharing platforms.
“The VPC digital solution will reinforce the safety and efficiency of the workflow between pilots, CMA CGM vessels and local CMA CGM operations,” said Mr Romero.
PSA Marine will be discussing tug technology with Port of Antwerp and CMB Tech during Riviera Maritime Media’s Tug Technology Webinar Week, from 1 September. Use this link for more information and to register for these webinars.