Outstanding software for the coordination of ship calls and departures in the Port

DAKOSY press release (July 2019)

In close coordination with the Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) as client and Hamburg Port Consulting (HPC) as responsible partner for project and supplier management, DAKOSY has developed a worldwide unique software which digitizes the traditionally manual paper-based work of HVCC and has led to a significant increase in the efficiency of the coordination center. Two development phases have already been successfully completed. In the third phase, further interfaces to partners in the Port of Hamburg and other ports will be implemented this year.

HVCC is the central coordination hub for large ship, feeder and inland waterway transport in the Port of Hamburg. With its Feeder Logistik Zentrale (FLZ) and Nautische Terminal Koordination (NTK) departments, it is responsible for the cross-company coordination
of all ship approaches and departures in the Port of Hamburg. Last year, HVCC coordinated approximately 4,000 terminal calls for feeders and barges as well as 3,000 calls for large vessels, and more than 3,300 passage plans were transmitted. HVCC would not have been able to provide this service without digitization and collaboration.

“Right from the start, we focused on the development of intelligent and networked software,” notes Gerald Hirt, Managing Director of HVCC, and continues: “After going through an intensive selection process, we chose DAKOSY as our software provider. As a port community system, DAKOSY operates first-class platforms for the seaport community and has already digitized many important processes, including the ATLAS Customs system and the Port River Information System Elbe (PRISE). We were also won over by DAKOSY’s overall technical competence.” 

Thanks to agile project management and short development cycles of four weeks each, the first expansion phase of the software was put into operation in September 2016. Its introduction immediately freed up the employees from many repetitive tasks and enabled them to concentrate more on the core objective of HVCC, i.e., the intrinsic planning, coordination and solution-oriented work. The second expansion phase began in mid-2017.

Hirt explains: “The further development, which was also supported within the framework of the Innovative Port Technologies Promotion Program (IHATEC), was aimed at increasing the transparency and efficiency of the coordination software. In order to carry out a targeted assessment of the added value of the additional interfaces and dashboards, our first step was to perform a requirements analysis of our business partners in the port. We found a high demand for information from all parties, which we wanted to factor into the additional interfaces.”

In addition to the cooperation partners HHLA and EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg, the terminals Hansaport, UNIKAI and Cruise Gate as well as the large shipping companies and first port service providers are now connected. Each partner has a dashboard view which enables them to see all information related to their own activities. In addition, the system has interfaces to the Nautical Center and to the Unifeeder feeder shipping company.

As a special highlight, an interface with the Port of Rotterdam was implemented in Autumn 2018. Information about planned and actual arrival and departure times is exchanged for all ships that have Hamburg or Rotterdam as the offshore or downstream port. This information improves the planning basis for both ports as well as for ship owners and ensures faster responsiveness in the event of time discrepancies. For example, if ship owners know at an early stage that handling at the next port will be delayed, they can allow their ships to sail more slowly, save fuel and at the same time protect the environment.

Hirt is justifiably proud of the new interface: “The direct exchange of data between Hamburg and Rotterdam is the logical first step towards networking the ports in Europe, in particular to increase responsiveness to operational changes and thus provide ship owners and terminals with better, more reliable support for ship arrival and handling planning. We are currently holding talks with other ports and terminal operators in Northern Europe and are confident that we will also be able to implement port interfaces with them in the course of the year. We also want to implement a new module for improved planning of inland waterway vessels in the Port of Hamburg this year.”

About HVCC:
HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center is the central, neutral and cross-company coordination center for large ship, feeder and inland waterway vessel transport in the Port of Hamburg. It offers terminals and ship owners its operational coordination services for ships approaching the Port of Hamburg, calling in the port and departing after handling – whether large container ships, bulkers, cruise ships, feeder ships or barges. A large number of HVCC’s customers and partners are already connected to the software, receiving passage plans for their approach to Hamburg and thus optimizing their planning processes. The HVCC is continuously expanding the service portfolio of the cross-sectional “networking” function and is also a partner in the EU’s Sea Traffic Management project. HVCC is a joint venture of two terminal operators, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg GmbH.