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PortCDM proves data sharing saves money and time

An industry wide data-sharing initiative known as PortCDM has demonstrated the efficiencies that can be created when sharing data, but also highlighted the persistent issue of companies not wanting to share information, an issue called data protectionism.

The PortCDM Concept, where CDM stands for Collaborative Decision Making, has been tested for three and a half years as part of the EU-co-funded Sea Traffic Management Validation Project.

PortCDM is the use of improved data sharing to create increased situational awareness, improved port and harbour efficiency and an environment where vessels can arrive just-in-time and thus sail at more economical and environmentally-sound speeds.

During PortCDM tests, two test beds were created. One in the Mediterranean, with the ports of Limassol, Sagunto, Valencia and Barcelona taking part, and one in the Nordic region with the ports of Gothenburg, Umeå, Brofjorden, Vaasa, Stavanger.

For the duration of the project and even today, and with a specific two months intensive effort, these ports and up to 80 different organisations and companies focused on exchanging and sharing data. The companies included shipowners’ vessels that were part of the STM validation project, pilots, VTS, port workers, terminal operators and tug operators.

In a final report to the STM validation project, and in a new Concept Note published for the first time here in partnership with Fathom.World, the PortCDM project managers highlight that the ability to move from unstructured data sharing to structured data sharing, including the use of a common time stamp formats, had the expected results of enhancing efficiency in terminal and harbour operations, created better visibility to extend planning horizons that had benefits for ships coming into and leaving ports, port-to-hinterland collaboration, as well as port to port operations.

However while the results were positive, and point to the continued development and commercialisation of the PortCDM concept, the project highlighted the need to overcome the continued culture of data protectionism where companies were more afraid of losing competitive advantages than they were confident of gaining the savings and efficiencies of better information and planning.

This Concept Note identifies that “While all actors welcomed access to the key elements of the plans and progress of others, a few were more reluctant to make their own situation known, primarily driven by a  fear that others may gain a competitive advantage.”

Actors taking part in the test beds said that by sharing data they were able to make better estimates of arrival and departure times of vessels, find improvements in work procedures and spend less time on information gathering.

Read the latest Concept  Note “#21 Validation of Concept and Next Steps”  here

About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.