Bunker specialists in the port of Rotterdam are obliged to notify the Port Authority and Customs prior to commencing each bunkering operation.

These are practically the same notifications that currently still need to be made separately.

...In the bunkering market, many transactions still take place by telephone or paper. That takes an unnecessarily big amount of time and doesn’t always result in a reliable overview of bunkering activities. We developed the app because things can and must be done differently,

...explained Maud Eijgendaal, Bunkering, LNG and Cruise Business Manager at the Port.

According to Ms. Eijgendaal, the port is currently in the top 3 of bunkering operations. Annually, sea-going vessels ‘fill up’ around 20,000 times. In total, these vessels bunker around 10 million tonnes of fuel, with a total value of several billions of euros. This requires the entire bunkering process to run as efficiently as possible.

As such, the port developed the digital TimeToBunker tool as the first step towards fully paperless bunkering.

Firstly, submitting electronic notifications is much more efficient than the current working method and results in a more reliable overview of planned bunkering activities.

In addition, information can be shared more easily, and the application also allows the notification to be submitted to both the Harbour Master and Customs (optional) simultaneously.

The app makes everything more efficient. Not only for our customers, who report the bunkering activities electronically via the app, but also for us. Registering 20,000 notifications is a lot of work and with manual entry, things sometimes go wrong, resulting in unreliable information. Particularly now, with the energy transition and transfer to increasingly cleaner fuels, it’s crucial that we have a reliable overview of all fuels being bunkered in the port; both the traditional fuels and the cleaner fuels such as LNG and biofuel. Without this overview it’s difficult to monitor trends and make and anticipate predictions. The new app gives us this overview,

...Maud Eijgendaal added.

TimeToBunker is linked to PRONTO, the app that all relevant parties use to optimise planning, execution and monitoring of all activities during a port call.

Earlier in 2019, a pilot project at the ECT Delta Terminal, operated by Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT), indicated that this 'single point of truth' can lead to significant improvements.