September 19, 2022
Anders Carlsson

Port calls optimization for port agents

Port calls optimization for port agents

How Port Agents can Digitalize to Optimize Port Calls

Ports today are the main hub of a complex, intermodal, transport supply chain - all with different stakeholders who must coordinate their actions seamlessly from a ship arriving in port, to servicing it and making sure it departs on time. 

The maritime industry has historically lagged behind with the adoption of digital technologies. But, now the industry is beginning to see the value of digitalization - especially with the complexities of port calls, a sector that has operated with a legacy of customs and traditional ways of doing things.

In today’s connected “always on” world there is greater and greater pressure to enable the stakeholders to cooperate seamlessly, reduce delays and the risk of demurrage payments that can prove costly to ship owners and managers. 

And in the middle of all this frenetic activities in port are the port agents who act as intermediaries and coordinate many of the operations performed on the vessels and in ports. Collecting, processing and sharing information about the port call status is a vital role for port agents to fulfil.

"The Challenge"

As an industry, shipping continues to look for simple, effective and reliable ways to navigate a business environment that is characterized by ever-increasing pressures to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. 

The situation today is forcing ship managers, ship owners and port agencies to look at ways to optimize a port call operation in order to lower operating costs.

One of the major challenges faced by stakeholders is that for those involved in handling a port call there is a lack of transparency of what is going on in real-time. They do not have the tools to share timely information or access updates on the port call. 

While the importance of optimizing port calls is universally acknowledged, the reality is that it is a very complex process. The consequences of getting it wrong, making mistakes when planning or executing the port call means laytime calculations that end up in settling demurrage claims.

It has become ever more important then for everyone involved in a port call – vessel operator, terminal operator, agencies, etc. – to collaborate with those providing services as well as with other stakeholders.

Most of the software solutions offered in the market today rely on manual data entry into stand alone systems, which makes it hard to share data or information with stakeholders who are preparing to provide a service while a vessel is in port.

Sharing shipping documents in a traditional PDF format can also limit data capture and create unnecessary re-processing for stakeholders.

For port authorities and terminal operators, it is a lot easier to operate a port efficiently with increased transparency. For customers, for example port agents and charterers, it is a lot easier to manage costs when they can access and analyse data generated by port calls, using it to optimize the process. 

Recommended read: What are the benefits for bulk freight shippers of a digital Statement of Facts?

"The Solution"

To optimize a port call, a solution needs to not only help save costs but also improve the way port calls are handled, providing access to information that offers an overview of activities in as close to real-time as possible.

The Enqlare Port Calls module enables port agents to digitize their port calls processes and share up-to-date data. It also drastically reduces the chance of human error by removing manual tasks such as copy-pasting data between different interfaces, thereby improving reliability and accuracy of communication.

The Enqlare module is a 24/7 cloud-based service that allows port agents to share and manage who sees the port call data and status in real-time, coordinating operations, synchronizing the delivery and planning of services on the vessel and in the port. 

Enqlare Port Calls module
Enqlare Port Calls module

Using pre-built templates for port calls the module generates a complete activity view with powerful analytics, digital SOF (Statement of Facts), stakeholder sharing and integration features that reduce time consuming tasks.

Recommended read: How Port Agents can Digitalize to Optimize Port Calls

Benefits of the Enqlare Port Calls module

Optimization = efficiency

The port agencies benefit from a port calls optimization solution that enhances information transparency, reduces the amount of manually collated and input data and adds a premium value to their service offering.

Collecting and managing data, tasks, documents and workflow all in one place enables a port agent to share data to optimize assets and resources to avoid information gaps and costly mistakes.

An agent can achieve lower operating costs by more efficiently planning and executing their services and reducing the risks of demurrage.

Sharing information

Being able to share information digitally eliminates the process of collecting and manually entering information on vessels and activities across the different parties during a port call.

Traditionally for stakeholders, communication happens through email or phone which can be a point of friction. The Enqlare port calls module is cloud-based, collecting and sharing updates digitally on port call status, vessel position, and messages in real-time, no delay.

The more up-to-date the information port agents have means that they can make better decisions and act faster. 

In addition, historic information can be used to assess likely performance, learning through the data patterns it can help enhance how business decisions are made, along with better coordination and collaboration of parties.

With Enqlare, users can share an online link that takes stakeholders directly to view port call activity and a digital SOF, with everybody on the same page there is less of a chance to miss important information and it is easy to use for laytime calculations. 

The port call data can be shared with clients and partners with a 24/7 live feed of activities, great for real-time business insights and decision making. 

Value added

A business development benefit for port agencies is the ability to add value to their service offering by using the Enqlare port calls module. And at the same time improve customer satisfaction through the seamless interaction and collaboration with other stakeholders.

Plus by having all the information in one place it reduces the risks of missing a task and makes it easier to meet deadlines and maintain priorities.

Digitization 

Collecting and sharing all relevant information digitally makes the port call process transparent, less time consuming boosts operational efficiency and cost savings. It also ensures timely notifications and updates to all stakeholders.

The Enqlare software enables the creation of digital formats (for example digital SOFs) that stakeholders can edit and capture information from, avoiding a lot of unnecessary manual re-typing into spreadsheets and laytime calculations.

Enqlare Port Calls module

The Enqlare Port Call module benefits:

  • Real-time information transparency throughout all stages of the port call.
  • Lower operating costs through greater efficiency.
  • Synchronized planning of services.
  • Improve the way port calls are handled by all stakeholders.
  • Help laytime calculations - often a source of disagreement and conflict.

By bringing predictability to the process with a well-coordinated port call it can help synchronize actions managed by the port agencies that increase efficiency, lower operating costs and improve the way port calls are handled in the future.

Enqlare Port Calls module
Enqlare Port Calls module

Managing a port call requires collecting information from multiple sources, and distributing it to ensure all parties are up to date for a smooth operation. 

Enqlare Port Calls allows all stakeholders to have the latest information and make the right decisions:

Integration ready - A seamless integration with existing in-house software.

Fast and flexible Interface - Enqlare software comes already set up with fast and powerful reporting and filters.

Security - A modern and secure platform, where all data is encrypted and access to is governed by strict security protocols.

If you have more questions, contact us at info@enqlare.com or visit our FAQ page to answer your questions.

Request a demo of the Port Calls module.

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Anders Carlsson
Anders Carlsson
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