New AI-assisted vessel dispatching tool could save operators more than US$1m per port.
25 June 2019 – PortX (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and Helm Operations (Victoria, BC, Canada) announced that they have signed a new strategic partnership agreement to combine PortX’s cutting-edge AI-based port dispatching system, OptiPort, with Helm CONNECT, the world’s leading harbor dispatching and operations software.
Already used in a number of ports around the globe, OptiPort dramatically improves the scheduling of harbor towage operations by using artificial intelligence to optimize vessel dispatch based on crew working hours, currents, tides, vessel characteristics, fuel consumption and availability. Until now, it has been difficult for companies to manually calculate and account for these factors in a live environment. By using AI, OptiPort is able to dynamically optimize harbor schedules every three minutes, resulting in the most optimal and cost-effective dispatch schedules for any harbor or fleet.
Depending on the port, pilot studies using OptiPort have shown savings of greater than US$1 million annually per port by reducing fuel consumption and crew overtime while optimizing vessel dispatch to reduce chartering of third-party tugs. Together, these factors allow for savings of up to US$200,000 per tug on a yearly basis.
As part of the agreement, Helm Operations will incorporate OptiPort to provide a new advanced version of its Helm CONNECT platform, which provides vessel dispatch and operations software for many of the world’s largest harbor docking fleets. Using Helm CONNECT Jobs, powered by OptiPort’s AI engine, users will receive automated suggestions on the best towing vessel, departure time and running speed based on the current schedule. This simplifies the dispatch management process, greatly reducing fuel and overtime costs while ensuring optimal schedules for harbor operators.
Vincent van Os, managing director of PortX: “Helm Operations is the world leader in harbor dispatch and billing software. By combining our OptiPort Dynamic Port Asset Optimization software with Helm CONNECT, we can help dispatchers and harbor operators around the world make better decisions on the use of their fleet. With the integration work that we have done with Helm, implementation of OptiPort can be achieved extremely quickly without adding additional hardware on the vessels or in the dispatch control room. This leads to real cost savings that can improve operators’ bottom lines almost immediately upon implementation.”
Ron deBruyne, CEO of Helm Operations: “We’ve been incredibly impressed by the cost savings offered by OptiPort. We’ve seen the benefits of AI-driven technology first-hand and believe that this is a major step forward for the industry. Our team has helped implement advanced dispatching systems for many of the world’s leading harbor docking companies, and we’re eager to enable our customers to successfully realize the cost savings that OptiPort can provide. From initial planning to long-term success, we’re ready to help our customers achieve more.”
For more information, please contact:
Jacqueline van den Heuvel
+ 31 (0) 629 702 290
About Helm Operations
Since 1999, Helm Operations has been developing software to help marine companies better manage their vessel operations, maintenance, compliance and crewing. Its flagship product, Helm CONNECT, has emerged as the leading software platform for marine operations and vessel management. Today, more than 170 customers and 4000 vessels around the world use Helm CONNECT, including seven of North America’s top ten marine operators, and some of the world’s largest and most respected harbor docking and oil transportation companies. Through its Helm Labs program, Helm is dedicated to bringing cutting-edge technology like AI-based vessel dispatch and predictive maintenance to the maritime industry.
PortX provides optimization solutions under the name OptiPort, for in-port vessel operations (like towing, bunkering and similar activities). The application is based on the latest developments in data science and data analytics: it dynamically cost-optimizes the utilization of nautical assets, based on the applicable work schedule, weather and tide influences, and crewing schedules.