The Port of Rotterdam Authority on Tuesday (27 August) showcased its TimeToBunker e-notification app which was launched in March 2019. To date, approximately 50% of the market currently uses the app.
The 'Timetobunker' application (previously known as the BunkerApp) is the tool for the electronic submission of planned bunkering. The application makes it possible to send a report to both the Harbour Master and Customs (optional) in a single procedure, eliminating the need to use VHF (Harbour Master) and Maritime Single Window (Customs).
TimeToBunker is linked to PRONTO, the app that shipping companies, agents, terminals and other service providers use to optimise planning, execution and monitoring of all activities during a port call.
“We supply such things as marine diesel oil to container ships. We were involved in the app development from the very beginning, after being invited by the Port Authority,” notes Marc Tieman, quality manager at Rotterdam-based bunker supplier Unibarge.
“The advantage of the app is that it replaces the e-mail to Customs and the VHF notification to the Port Authority. Each notification arrives with one click of a button, and the data are saved. The app is user-friendly; the captains understand it and can use it easily.”
Maud Eijgendaal, business manager Bunkering, LNG en Cruise, Port of Rotterdam, notes the application will be able to offer the port a reliable overview of all fuels being bunkered in the port; including both traditional fuels and cleaner fuels such as LNG and biofuel.
“Without this overview it’s difficult to monitor trends and make and anticipate predictions. The new app gives us this overview,” she says.
“Bunkering is one of the most important maritime services in the port, and globally we are in the top 3. Annually, sea-going vessels ‘fill up’ around 20,000 times. In total, these vessels bunker around 10 million tonnes of fuel, with a total value of several billions of euros.
“It is important that the entire bunkering process runs as safely and efficiently as possible. But, in the bunkering market, many transactions still take place by telephone or paper.
“That takes an unnecessarily big amount of time and doesn’t always result in a reliable overview of bunkering activities. We developed the app because things can and must be done differently.”
Moving forward, Eijgendaal informed that digital notification of bunkering operations will be compulsory at Rotterdam port from next year.
“The next step is generating the electronic bunker delivery note of the bunkered fuel, which must contain certain data about the supplied fuel and can be viewed as a value document. We are already holding discussions with several parties about this, and interest is high.”
Photo credit: Eric Bakker / Port of Rotterdam Authority
Published: 30 August, 2019
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