Rotterdam forms new company to commercialise digital shipping app

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

12 August 2019


A new company called PortXchange Products has been founded by the Port of Rotterdam Authority to offer the Pronto platform and application to ports around the world over the next few years.

The establishment of a separate company will enable partnerships with a variety of global players. Together with strategic partners Shell International Trading and Shipping Company (“Shell”) and AP Moller - Maersk, PortXchange will initially offer Pronto to several ports outside the Netherlands.

The launch of PortXchange provides a platform to create new strategic partnerships with ports, shipping companies and terminals, geared towards implementing smart digital solutions like Pronto in ports worldwide. This in turn contributes to the ambition of Port of Rotterdam to become the world’s smartest port.

PortXchange aims to improve the efficiency of port calls and help clients reduce their emissions – both in the port as well as between ports. To this end, the company provides Pronto: a joint platform that can be used by shipping companies, agents, terminals, port authorities and other (nautical) service providers, which enables them to optimally plan, execute and monitor all activities during a port call based on the exchange of standardised data. In addition, Pronto enables just-in-time sailing, which helps reduce carbon emissions.

Trust between parties for the free exchange of data is vital to the successful introduction of Pronto in other ports. The establishment of a separate company enables the solution’s neutrality and independence and improves cooperation between all parties.

Taking the lead in digital transformation enables the Port of Rotterdam to become more efficient, reliable and, as result, more competitive. “By making our application available to ports across the world we can optimise the potential of digital solutions. The more ports use smart solutions, the more valuable these become. The establishment of a separate company for Pronto’s global roll out is an excellent example of this approach,” stated Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority.

The first PortXchange partnerships have already been signed – with Shell and A.P. Moller - Maersk. Castelein said “Pronto will be offered in several ports in Europe and the US before the end of the year. The ambition for the years ahead is to make Pronto available to ports worldwide. Partnerships with major international players like Shell and Maersk play a crucial part in making Pronto a global success.”

Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime commented “We are moving towards a global, end-to-end digitally connected operating environment for shipping, as in the airline industry. For example, at Shell, our onshore digital centre is able to analyse 500 data points a second in real time from each ship we manage.

In partnering on Pronto, we can see opportunities to extend this work to optimising port operations. The results of our trials so far have already shown the great benefits in increased efficiency, reduced fuel and operating costs, and lower emissions.”

Kent Stig Hagbarth – Head of Operations Execution at A.P. Moller-Maersk said, “We see a significant need and opportunity to improve the collaboration, communication, and single data usage amongst port participants for optimized sailing and port calls for vessels. The aim of the Pronto platform, to enable just in time arrival and optimize the port stay of our vessels, not only enables us to increase schedule reliability to the benefit of our customers but also to achieve our goal of reducing our CO2 emissions.”