Virtual arrival agreements

When at port, ships keep their auxiliary engines running for electricity, resulting in unnecessary emission of pollutants and over $18bn in fuel waste.[1] Estimates suggest that an eight-hour stay at port can emit 2.5 tonnes of pollutants.[2] Waiting time at ports increases when ships fail to arrive on schedule, causing systemic delays for other inbound vessels, trucks, and trains.[1] While penalties exist for late arrivals, there is little incentive for the port to process cargo faster.

To combat this problem, 100 organizations worldwide have signed up for a new centralized platform, which will bring common standards to maritime navigation systems.[3] This will provide the infrastructure for a seamless electronic information exchange, and open the opportunity for a new type of contract that incentivizes reducing berthing time through the sharing of savings from reduced fuel consumption.[3] Faster turn-around time at ports will allow vessels to optimize their next voyage at the minimum speed necessary to reach their destination just as space is opening up.

Access to information about cargo processing progress at ports is necessary for the algorithms to compute and transmit real-time information on berthing space and compute the shared savings that can be earned by each party through minimizing berthing time for each visit.[4] For this to become a possibility, it requires the ports and shipping companies to enter into contracts so that sharing the required information and savings is agreed upon.

When will contracts between ports and shipping companies, designed to incentivize the minimization of time at port, be implemented?

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References:
[1] Napa, (2019), Shipping businesses lose annually 18 billion USD due to "Rush to Wait"
[2]FathomShipping, (2013), Port Operators Under Pressure to Reduce Ship Emissions
[3]University of Copenhagen, (2019), New global maritime platform will improve electronic communication at sea
[4]Karimpour, R, (2018), Sea Traffic Management (STM): an effective tool for decarbonisation and safety of navigation
More information:
Lind, M., Hägg, M., Siwe, U. & Haraldson, S., (2016), Sea Traffic Management - Beneficial for all Maritime Stakeholders
DNV GL, (2020), ETA and port call predictions
STM, (2020), IP 2020-2025 - Increasing operational capabilities
Global Maritime Services, (2020), Innovative vessel performance management and decision support solutions for the maritime industry
Allianz, (2018), Safety and Shipping review 2018 S
Lee, H., (2020), Our new challenge, the SMART-Navigation project, will enable us to enjoy the opportunity for yet more success on the sea
Chakrabarty, A., (2019), What Marine Communication Systems Are Used in the Maritime Industry?
The Navigator, (2015), Inspiring professionalism in marine navigators
Gard, (2013), Slow steaming and virtual arrival
Schmidmeir, G., (2019), Performance-based contracts: The next step for the container handling industry

By Matthew J. Spaniol