Port of Rotterdam Takes First Steps Towards Paperless Bunkering

Monday July 2, 2018

The port of Rotterdam today said it has taken the first steps towards paperless bunkering.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority along with a number of bunkering parties including VT Group, Unibarge, and Titan LNG are launching a trial project that allows users to submit bunkering announcements using an online procedure that is, ultimately, intended to replace the existing announcements via VHF.

"The project is the first step towards completely paperless bunkering where the Port Authority is committed to making bunkering more efficient," the Port said.

"Parties refuelling in the port of Rotterdam are required to notify the port authority of this operation prior to bunkering. These announcements are currently made via VHF. There are some 20,000 bunkering operations in Rotterdam every year – equivalent to 20,000 VHF notifications. The details for each of these operations are entered in the various systems by hand," the Port explained.

"The online submission of notifications largely automates these processes, resulting in greater efficiency and less room for human error. This in turn improves the reliability of the data. The latter is very important, since the Port of Rotterdam Authority is one of the few ports in the world to publish bunkering statistics. In addition, the app features a link to the Customs Administration's Maritime Single Window – meaning that bunkering parties are only required to submit one bunkering announcement, rather than two. This also works a lot more effectively than the existing procedure."

Rotterdam is not alone in its desire to go paperless, with Singapore currently developing its "E-BDN" system that will replace the current paper-based system.