Nobody actually likes ship reporting. No one on vessels, no one on-shore. It’s time consuming, boring, irritating and, unfortunately, essential. There are tens, sometimes hundreds (well at least over 100) of different reports a ship may be obliged to submit during a single journey, many of which contain mostly the same information, which, infuriatingly, has to be manually inputted. It seems like every authority, from ports to customs, to health and border controls, wants a piece of you (your information, but also your time and resources). It’s a huge administrative burden.
However, here at NAVTOR we’re working to ensure that one day – maybe one day soon – it’s nothing more than a bad memory.
Steps to automation
Automated ship reporting is our goal. We’re currently involved in the SESAME-2 project with a range of partners from Norway and Singapore, collaborating to help fulfil the huge potential of e-navigation and greatly reduce ship and shore administration tasks.
We’ve already taken a giant stride to automation with the introduction of NAVTOR’s Passage Planning module on NavStation last year. This automatically logs all necessary passage plan information, such as journey waypoints, ETD, ETA, and so on, as a voyage is mapped out by navigators in NavStation – eradicating both the need for manual data input and, as a result, human error.
Thankfully, much of this information is the same as that required in ship reports.
Building the future
However, it’s not that simple. Many of the bodies require different information in different formats – there’s no one size fits all. Nevertheless, if we can map what is currently available, what is required and what is missing, we can create the means of filling in the gaps and laying the foundations for automatic reporting – sent from machine to machine.
This would lift the burden of collation from the bridge, leaving navigators to simply check through data before submission. Notifications from their digital chart software would keep them up to date with reports pending and those already submitted.
Voila – a simplified, digitized process, greatly enhancing efficiency, productivity and the use of an all important resource, time.
Thanks to the SESAME-2 collaboration, The Norwegian Coastal Administration has agreed to allow its National Single Window, a single portal that can be utilized for the submission of documents for port and authority clearance, to be used during testing. It is now our aim to develop the platform/system that will enable the machine-to-machine interaction without the need for human input. We believe we’re well on the way.
The result of this when (not if) it’s achieved will chime perfectly with the stated ambition of all our efforts here at NAVTOR - to make shipping and navigation easier, safer and more efficient. At the same time the SESAME-2 project comply to the IMO e-Navigation solutions “S2: means for standardized and automatic reporting”
Welcome to the future of e-navigation… and goodbye to the out-dated burden of ship reporting!