Freight News, Sea

Port of Halifax launches industry-leading Vessel Forecast Summary application

[ June 13, 2019   //   ]

The Port of Halifax is providing additional visibility on expected container vessel arrival times. A Vessel Forecast Summary (VFS) application is now live on the Port of Halifax Operations Centre; cargo owners and port service providers including terminal operators, pilots, tug operators, truckers and CN Rail now have access to an accurate estimate of container vessel arrivals at the Port of Halifax.

The application is powered by eeSea, a Copenhagen-based leader in global vessel forecasting. All container vessels serving the Port of Halifax are covered by the application which shows a vessel’s pro forma arrival date, an eeSea-estimated arrival date, and any difference between the two which is listed in hours and minutes. Anyone can track an inbound vessel up to 30 days prior to scheduled arrival at Halifax.

“As a digitally-focused port, the ability for port service providers and importers to have an accurate forecast will build on Halifax’s reputation as a consistent and reliable gateway,” said Karen Oldfield, President & CEO, Halifax Port Authority. “Knowing exactly when a cargo vessel is due in port is the basis for other supply chain decisions, so we see this tool as an important element in a shipper’s choice of port.”

Kim Holtermand, CEO & Managing Director, Halterm Container Terminal Ltd., notes, “There are many factors affecting vessel arrival at berth when compared to weekly pro forma schedules. As Terminal Operator, reducing the number of information sources that need to be checked and receiving reliable vessel forecasts will allow us to better schedule labour with our Ocean Carriers and to optimize our container yard planning and discharge operations while maximizing terminal efficiency.”

“The vessel Forecast Summary report is a very useful tool for everyone involved in our industry,” said Calvin Whidden, President, Ceres Halifax Inc. “The sharing of real time information to allow business to react to supply chain data is the way of the future. It is great to see the Port of Halifax leading the way in this new era of electronic information sharing.”

eeSea CEO Simon Sundboell has dedicated significant resources to building the data-set that powers the vessel forecasting application. “When the Port of Halifax approached us, we jumped at the opportunity to work in partnership to develop a solution required to meet Halifax’s specifications,” Sundboell said. “We are aware of no other provider that offers vessel forecasting in such a detailed – and accurate – way. eeSea’s algorithm is unique, using a combination of AIS satellite tracking, along with additional attributes such as port congestion risks, carriers’ historical accuracy, past sailing patterns, port stay times, and omissions that other competing products simply do not employ.”

In the coming months the VFS application will be enhanced to include non-container vessel arrivals at the Port of Halifax as well as vessel departures.