Terminals need to look at automation and technology to improve the ship/shore interface and tanker vessel clearance process. Terminal planning is complicated because all activities are highly connected, including the arrivals and operations of vessels. Sources of disruption are often unclear information, changing ETA’s of ships, last-minute cargo changes, and weather, for example. The ship/shore interface also involves risk, so while we don’t want to see vessel delays and demurrage claims, we want to avoid safety issues at all costs.
In this article, I will explain how the tanker vessel clearance process can be automated and provide an additional bonus tip to improve performance and safety at the terminal. This is part 2 of our article – “Tanker Ship/Shore Interface: What Are The Challenges?“.
This article is written by Rudi Stalmans and featured in the 2022 spring edition of Tank News International. The title of the article in the Magazine is “Vessel Clearance Process Automation”. The paragraph in this blog post covering the ISGOT Ship/Shore safety checklist was not covered in the original article.
How to automate the tanker vessel clearance process?
The global database www.tankterminals.com lists more than 10,000 terminals globally, including tank terminals, refineries, and chemical plants. Many of these sites provide access to ships and need to have a vessel clearance process in place.
The Vessel Clearing Tool is now available through this terminal database to automatically match terminal characteristics with vessel characteristics to determine the ship/shore compatibility. The process also has the option to include product compatibility and vessel sanction checks. With the automated clearing process, terminals can minimize errors and obtain the validation in seconds at any time and any place.
The first step consists of uploading the latest vessel questionnaire or Q88 in digital form and reading the relevant vessel data from that Q88 document. Then the vessel data is compared with the restrictions of the terminal to determine which berths are suited and not suited to receive the vessel. The main characteristics that are compared are the LOA, width, DWT, draft, and products. Finally, a Vessel Clearance Report is issued.
Bonus tip: Ship/Shore Safety Checklist (SSSCL) digitalization
As part of the updated International Safety Guide for Tankers and Terminals or ISGOTT 6 standard, the Ship/Shore Safety Checklist and pre-arrival information exchange have become mandatory and more extensive.
Below are five ways this impacts how vessels and terminals should interact.
1. A terminal is required to document safety checks & operational agreements via the Ship Shore Safety Checklist
2. As of ISGOTT 6 pre-arrival information exchange is required!
3. Pre-arrival information exchange covers a part of the SSSCL and needs to be finished before the vessel berths. This creates a need to digitize this process.
4. Pre-transfer conference between ship’s rep and terminal rep to formalize agreements related to ops and safety of loading/discharging.
5. Additional requirements lead to increased administration and documentation requirements.
This whole SSSCL and pre-arrival information exchange can now also be digitized making the whole process efficient, less prone to human errors, and easy to operate.
One simple step for immediate impact on performance
When you get into the details of all the areas of terminal operations, it’s incredible the improvement opportunities that you can find. The automated tanker vessel clearance process is an easy way to improve terminal performance and safety! The Ship/Shore Safety Check List digital solution is another simple step to improve communication and efficiency at your terminal.
Are you doing your tanker vessel clearance and Ship/Shore Safety Check List manually? If so, it is time to change this process to stay ahead of your competition. Does my message resonate with you? Book your free demo to see the advantages of these two innovations and how it works.
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