Hapag-Lloyd’s boxship claims world’s 1st digitally controlled port arrival

The Kobe Express, a container ship owned by Hapag-Lloyd and managed by Anglo-Eastern, completed what has been described as the ‘world’s first digitally controlled port arrival.’

Kobe Express
Kobe Express; Image credit: Wartsila

The vessel’s docking was carried out within the framework of a partnership between Wärtsilä and Tanger Med, the largest Mediterranean and African container port, on digitalization of maritime port calls.

The 4,612 TEU Bermuda-flagged container ship docked at Tanger Med port in Morocco on June 25, using the Wärtsilä Navi-Port system, having sailed in from Cartagena in Colombia.

The digital platform facilitates the exchange of real-time data between ships and their destination ports to allow accurate arrival times.

The system exchanges required time of arrival with the onboard navigation system and allows a ship’s speed schedule to be adjusted for a Just-in-Time (JiT) arrival, thereby saving fuel and costly waiting time at anchor. Therefore, ports can bring down congestion and the risk of collisions, also lessening GHG and carbon emissions.

“This is a momentous accomplishment. We have moved beyond pilot and testing projects to real-life applications, and we see this as kick-starting a trend that will make both shipping and port operations more efficient and less carbon intensive”, said Dmitry Rostopshin, General Manager for Ship Traffic Control at Wärtsilä Voyage.

Wärtsilä Voyage
Image credit: Wartsila

“Anglo-Eastern has partnered with Wärtsilä to digitalise the operations of the more than 600 vessels in our managed fleet. We anticipate that the Wärtsilä technology will speed the execution and planning of voyages and allow us to better monitor fuel efficiency and engine performance for optimal operations,” said Bjorn Hojgaard, CEO of Anglo-Eastern.

Bruce Mills, Business Development Manager for Ship Traffic Control at Wärtsilä Voyage, added that a number of similar projects are well underway with other leading ports and shipping companies around the world as the economic and environmental benefits of JiT operations are becoming increasingly clear to the maritime community.