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PD Ports and Rotterdam set digital partnership

PD Ports has announced a new partnership with the Port of Rotterdam to deliver digitalised solutions that will improve efficiencies and support the future growth on the River Tees.

PD Ports is accelerating its pace of digitalisation with the development of a port community system (PCS), while the port has recently announced its ambition to make the River Tees the UK’s most successful port region by 2050.

Working in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam, PD Ports has started the first phase of developing this critical infrastructure, aligned with Teesport’s wider development plans to become a  ‘smarter port’; reducing the need for, and reliance on, personal interaction and paper-based transactions.

“By working with our colleagues in Rotterdam we can build direct links with Teesport’s biggest single supply route, connecting not only PD Ports but the entire community on the river to the largest port in Europe,” explains PD Ports’ CEO, Frans Calje and added, “In utilising Rotterdam’s developed PCS at Teesport, companies managing the flow of cargo between the UK and the Netherlands – for the Netherlands directly or the wider EU market – will have the convenience of using the same system for goods moving in both directions.”

The introduction of the PCS will provide a strong platform of continued growth in the future, delivering benefits to the Port, the Tees Valley region and the North of the UK, according to Calje.

As Statutory Harbour Authority of the River Tees, PD Ports is responsible for vessel traffic management and ensuring the safe navigation of vessels as they access Teesport. The implementation of this system will provide the river community with a single, dynamic source of information including live shipping movements, meteorological and environmental data, as well as providing the ability to initiate vessel visits to Teesport, all in one platform.

During its research phase, the port operator held consultations with river users ahead of committing to the PCS of choice, with key partners Svitzer Marine, Graypen and ConocoPhillips all trialling the system prior to launch, according to a statement.

Dan Heritage, agency manager at Graypen, said he is keen to continue working with both PD Ports and Port of Rotterdam as the system develops. “From the moment I heard about the port community system I was keen to engage with PD Ports, and the developers, to give guidance from our perspective as port agents.”

Heritage believes it is important that the system not only works to streamline the operations and communications within Teesport, but also provides a hub for port activity where users from various services around the river could interact and work together, using technology to our advantage.

“With the UK as one of the most important trade partners in Europe and approximately 40 million tonnes of cargo heading there from Rotterdam each year, it makes sense to try and optimise the supply chains and the transportation between the two ports,” noted René van der Plas, Port of Rotterdam director, who went on to highlight, “That’s also where digitalisation is very important, because by making things digital you will enhance transparency and efficiency.”

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