Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) and Kotug Smit Towage, provider of harbour towage, will in future work closely together at the Port of Hamburg in order to coordinate preliminary planning for ship calls and departures, and the associated tug services. This step will further optimise the efficiency and quality of ship handling in the Port of Hamburg.
Kotug Smit Towage is the first port service provider that will have access to the Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center’s time-related and geographically extensive planning system. Gerald Hirt, Managing Director of HVCC, comments, “Our cooperation with Kotug Smit marks an important milestone in the continued development of HVCC’s partner portfolio. We believe the comprehensive network and data exchange within the port industry offers enormous potential for increased efficiency in the Port of Hamburg.”
The shipping company Kotug Smit, which operates a fleet of five high-performance tugs in Hamburg, will receive a dashboard solution from HVCC with access to all relevant traffic data, providing it with real-time information relating to changes in ship call planning and terminal handling. Environmental data such as wind, water levels and tide are also integrated and processed in the system. This direct communication channel will improve reaction times in the case of schedule changes as well as resource planning for operational tug deployment, particularly at peak traffic periods.
The data will allow Kotug Smit to better plan rest periods for the tug teams and send tugs directly from one assignment to the next. This will in turn lead to savings in bunker consumption as the fleet, the assignments and the routes can be more efficiently coordinated. The result: a reduction in CO2 emissions. Eva Beykirch, General Manager of Kotug Smit Towage in Germany, comments, “Kotug Smit Towage and HVCC have had a constructive exchange for some time now. We are particularly pleased to be joining forces on this pilot project. Progressive digitisation is the way of the future, and with this comprehensive information platform, we expect to see improvements in tug capacity utilisation, as well as even more efficient route and operational planning on board the tugs.”
HVCC signed a cooperation agreement with the Rotterdam Port Authority just this past June to exchange data directly via an interface. The information pertains to planned and actual arrival and departure times for ships coming from or heading to either Hamburg or Rotterdam. “We’re open to all business partners along the maritime transport chain,” says Hirt. HVCC is currently in talks with a number of tug shipping companies, port service providers such as brokers, agents, and supply and disposal companies, as well as previous ports regarding potential cooperation.
About the HVCC
The HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center is the central, neutral and industry-wide coordination point for mega-ship, feeder and inland vessel traffic in the Port of Hamburg. Terminals and shipping companies can make use of its operational coordination services for the arrival of ships in the Port of Hamburg, routes around the port and departure after handling – whether for container mega-ships, bulkers, cruise ships, feeders or inland vessels. A number of HVCC’s customers and partners are already connected to the Center’s overview: Shipping companies, for example, receive plans of passage for the dispatch to Hamburg, and use them to optimise their planning processes. The HVCC is continuously developing the services portfolio of the “Networking” cross-departmental function and is also a partner in the EU project “Sea Traffic Management”. The Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center is a joint venture of the two terminal operators Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg GmbH.
About Kotug Smit Towage
Kotug Smit Towage was established on 7 April 2016 following the merger of KOTUG’s European port tug services (part of Kotug International) and SMIT (a Boskalis subsidiary). It is a leading provider of port tug services in north-west Europe with operations in twelve ports in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Kotug Smit’s high quality services meet all required operational and safety standards in the shipping industry, which has placed it in a leading position at European ports.