GETTING a ship into and out of a port quickly can save millions of dollars a year according to recent research. But who causes the bottles, holdups or delays? Who is to blame for most of the delays?
Earlier this year the Port CDM (collaborative Decision Making) project managers assessed the amount of time large container vessels coming into some of the larger European ports were hit by delays. The figures are not insignificant, with the study authors pointing to a huge potential to increase industry efficiency. Digging into the reasons for the delays and identifying where improvements can be made is however more complicated. The Port CDM concept developers see the need for all entities to have the right information at their finger tips, so they can expedite a port call, and then prevent any subsequent vessels from also being delayed.
There is also the need to understand what information is needed by others and why. Yes, Port CDM is a concept that aims to tackle that issue, as well as finding automated time stamps for those that need the information. But one of the biggest challenges remains; how to convince ports, terminals, shipowners, agents, and all others that transparency is good?
Port CDM relies on ports and terminals, often uneasy bedfellows, sharing certain timings. There is also the need for the ship to make information available too. While Port CDM is not about broadcasting arrival and departure times and other information for all to hear (software systems are currently under development to take the Port CDM concept beyond the test stage) it is about establishing the connections for a shipowners money making asset get out of a port and back making money as quick as possible.
The answer to the question about who’s to blame, is clearly poor communication, but is the industry ready to communicate?