New app for tugs and pilot boats accelerates port digitalization

Written by Marine Log Staff
Man with lap top

For ships arriving in ports, booking nautical services for pilotage, towage or workboats is more often than not an exasperating process—but those days could soon be over, with the launch of a mobile application that enables shipping agents to book those services directly on their mobile phones.

Singapore-based Innovez One has launched the first mobile version of its flagship port management software marineM as an app for Keppel SMIT Towage, one of the largest and leading harbor tug service providers in the Asia Pacific region.

The new application enables shipping agents to request the services of tug, pilot and supply vessels easily, with a few clicks on their smartphones. It also allows them to monitor the status and timings of their orders, with real-time updates. By gathering precise information on the duration of jobs, the marineM app also greatly facilitates the billing process.

In most ports where digital solutions aren’t yet in place, arranging for those services still requires multiple calls between agents and operators, as orders and updates are communicated verbally and recorded manually. This process is time-consuming and leads to a range of inefficiencies in ordering, execution and billing. 

Innovex One CEO and founder David Yeo

“We developed this application to respond to the needs of shipping agents, who require flexible solutions as they are constantly on the move while coordinating logistics,” said Innovez One’s CEO and founder David Yeo. “But the practicality and flexibility of the mobile application also makes it an essential tool for operators, who are keen to use it to make bookings on behalf of agents.”

Using Data to Transform Ports

Yeo says he believes that making the software more accessible and convenient for users will encourage a wider range of ports to adopt digital solutions, making them more competitive and resilient.

Currently, port management software remains the preserve of only a few major ports, which have the financial muscle to invest in tailor-made solutions. As a result, only a handful of ports are achieving the working definition of a “smart port”—which leaves around 80% of the world’s 4,900 ports, mostly small and medium-sized, still missing out on the benefits of digitalization.

Innovez One’s marineM provides a turnkey solution that enables smaller and medium ports to benefit from the immense potential of digitalization. The port management software optimizes berth and vessel allocations, enables real-time reporting of timings and locations, and generates bills automatically. This reduces waiting times and creates a far more efficient, reliable and robust system for planning and allocating these resources. It also allows for shorter and optimized vessel journeys, thereby reducing fuel consumption and GHG emissions. In the Indonesian port of Tanjung Priok, for example, adoption of marineM has reduced mileage by 20%, and unlocked annual savings of $155,000 in fuel costs, $90,000 in maintenance costs, and $150,000 in reduced incidents.

Innovez One says it believes that this is only the beginning, as advances in technologies mean that digital solutions will become even more performant with time, and more accessible for users.

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