The hard practicality of sharing data to improve port call performance

At Fathom World we have been covering the development of port collaborative messaging following the EU funded Sea Traffic Management Validation Project and Port CDM. Now one company has taken the bull by the horns and is promoting the technology that can be used. Brian Dixon spoke to Marine Fields in Cyprus about its solution.

A platform being trialled in the Mediterranean could well have a major impact on enhancing ship/shore data exchange and thus optimising the port call process. A key element required for port call optimisation is the ability for all stakeholders on sea and shore to be able to communicate smoothly regardless of the technology employed. To this end, Cyprus-based MarineFields may well have developed just such a system. Dubbed Perseus, the platform, says CEO Andreas Chrysostomou, “is a solution to interconnect any desired maritime actor to allow data sharing and collaboration independent of the systems used by the individual participant”.

“With limited individual adoptions, a port can connect with upstream and downstream ports, individual ships or shipping companies or other actors within or outside the port,” he continues, explaining that Perseus can be readily used with a stakeholder’s existing infrastructure “to empower its capabilities”. Consequently, the systems used by other stakeholders “are no roadblocks anymore” in the same way that anyone can connect to the general Internet without having to use a specific operating system.

“As such, Perseus establishes an Internet of Maritime by allowing inter-operability between the different involved systems, using existing communication options, following ships’ port rotation schemas – within and between ports,” he states, noting that Perseus provides “one interface for clients to share time stamp data with all relevant actors, creating situational awareness”.

“Perseus’ functionalities provide live awareness of actions within a port, at sea and within the ecosystem of a shipping company,” Chrysostomou says. Consequently, Perseus can enable players within the maritime sector to streamline their activities, enhance efficiencies and benefit from just-in-time operations. “Beyond this initial stage, Perseus’ capabilities open the possibility of a number of innovative communication functionalities that can be used in everyday operations and can assist states and ships to implement efficiently and on-time the ‘single window’ concept,” he says.

Utilising standardised message exchanges (such as the S-211 format) via a “safe and secure digital interaction”, the Perseus platform can handle multiple sources of data while providing “collaborative decision-making based on real-time data sharing”. At the same time, the system is also compliant with the recommendations of all relevant international standards organisations and regulatory bodies; is scalable and adaptable in nature; and has the ability to be used in conjunction with artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain technologies. However, what really makes the platform stand out, Chrysostomou says, is “the fact that Perseus is totally independent of the entities sharing data and is without boundaries.”

So far, Perseus “has been tested in real life in an important South Mediterranean port” as part of a port collaborative decision making (PortCDM) implementation project. “The results of the successful implementation will be shared soon once the project is finished,” he reveals, adding that MarineFields is also “currently establishing a Perseus test with a shipping company for shipping operations”.

MarineFields is an associate partner of the Sea Traffic Management (STM) Validation Project, a participant of the International PortCDM Council and a member of the Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP). Headquartered in Limassol in the headquarters of Tototheo Maritime, it has already signed a number of [memorandum of understanding (MoU)] agreements and collaboration contracts with global industry leaders, governments and organisations.

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