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Rotterdam launches pilot project with bunkering app

(Posted on 04/07/18)

The port of Rotterdam is Europe’s largest bunkering port. To make the bunkering (i.e. refuelling) of ships in Rotterdam even more efficient, transparent and reliable, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and various bunkering parties are launching a trial project that allows users to submit bunkering announcements digital. In due time, this online procedure is intended to replace the existing announcements via VHF. The project is the first step towards completely paperless bunkering where the Port Authority is committed to making bunkering more efficient.

Parties refuelling in the port of Rotterdam are required to notify the port authority of this operation prior to bunkering. These announcements are currently made via VHF. There are some 20,000 bunkering operations in Rotterdam every year – equivalent to 20,000 VHF notifications. The details for each of these operations are entered in the various systems by hand. The online submission of notifications largely automates these processes, resulting in greater efficiency and less room for human error. This in turn improves the reliability of the data. The latter is very important, since the Port of Rotterdam Authority is one of the few ports in the world to publish bunkering statistics. In addition, the app features a link to the Customs Administration’s Maritime Single Window – meaning that bunkering parties are only required to submit one bunkering announcement, rather than two. This also works a lot more effectively than the existing procedure.

The Port Authority is launching the pilot project in collaboration with VT Group, Unibarge, Titan LNG, FTS Hoftrans and Transnational Blenders. Naturally, other bunker fuel suppliers are also welcome to participate in the trial.

The port of Rotterdam is one of the top three bunker ports in the world. Every year, vessels in Rotterdam refuel some 10 million m³ of bunker fuels. And Rotterdam has an ample supply of every imaginable bunker – from fuel oils to biofuels. In addition, Rotterdam is one of the first ports in Europe where ships can bunker LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).

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