HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center at the Port of Hamburg in Germany has formed a cooperative partnership with Netherlands’ Rotterdam Port Authority to share relevant data through a digital interface to support efficient and optimum operation.

The partnership is aimed at helping shipping companies to steer their ships more efficiently and allow the port terminals to optimise their resource planning.

It also aims to improve the operational processes at both the ports and make them more attractive.

The joint project was launched at the beginning of this year and currently the partners exchange data directly via information technology (IT) systems.

The shared information is associated with scheduled and actual arrival and departure times of ships coming to and from either Hamburg or Rotterdam.

It enables both the ports and shipping companies visiting the ports to improve their planning in case of any schedule changes.

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“The direct exchange of data between Hamburg and Rotterdam is the logical first step towards building a network of ports all over Europe.”

The digital cooperation between the ports is based on an interface, which links the HVCC software with the PRONTO platform used in Rotterdam.

The linking is designed to facilitate real-time exchange of data in line with the Port Call Standard of the International Harbour Masters’ Association (IHMA).

HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center managing director Gerald Hirt said: “‘Airport Collaborative Decision Making’ is a concept that we know from aviation and refers to the joint decision-making and data usage established in that industry, from which shipping can also benefit.

“The direct exchange of data between Hamburg and Rotterdam is the logical first step towards building a network of ports all over Europe, particularly in order to increase the ability to react to delays, and thus provide both shipping companies and terminals with improved and reliable support for the arrival and dispatching of ships.

“We would like to invite other European ports to connect with us and to benefit from these advantages.”

HVCC function as the central and industry-wide coordination point for mega-ship, feeder and inland vessel traffic in the Port of Hamburg.