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Saab Global
ships and tugs moored along the Thames

PortControl Port Management Information System

From landlord to full-service ports, all have a wide variety of workflows that need to be planned, managed and invoiced. PortControl’s modules can be configured to meet any port need.

Unlock your port’s potential

Running a smooth and efficient port is sometimes quite challenging as many different stakeholders, each with their own agenda, need to be aligned, without compromising on safety. Recent events such as the world-wide pandemic which caused many blank sailings or the blockage in the Suez Canal, have caused many ports to face additional challenges when it comes to port management. Although most ports are well organized, recent studies indicate that there is much room for improvement in port operations. On average:

  • 30% of shipments are delayed;
  • 25% of trucks on the road are empty;
  • Each transaction involves 28 parties;
  • 44% of executives describe supply chain visibility as to priority.

The use of tools such as PortControl, can help ports to better align the different stakeholders, and at the same time, better address unexpected changes. Depending on the specific need, a complete Port Management Information System (PMIS) or just certain specific modules can help addressing the most urgent needs.

The PortControl Port Management Information System (PMIS) is a complete port automation solution with modules that are configured to meet the needs of the end-users. No matter what the size of your port is, it provides immediate measurable benefits when put into operational use.

An important benefit of PortControl is its modularity. New building blocks can easily be added as needed. The modules are configured to match your way of working instead of the other way around.

No other company has the all-encompassing expertise to cover both the landside and waterside of operations in a single solution. Saab’s PortControl combines the latest technology with industry best practices from ports around the world to manage vessel visits, port services and resources, and automatically invoice customers.

Just-in-time operations aid sustainability

Despite that some environmentally friendly alternatives are becoming available at some ports with electrical and LNG-powered ships, the maritime industry is unfortunately still considered as very environmentally unfriendly. Port Call Optimisation and Just-In-Time Operations are therefore becoming more important than ever. Ensuring that service providers go to work exactly when it is needed avoids idling machinery and staff, as well as needless movements in and around the port.

PortControl is fully event driven, and new information, such as an expected time of arrival changing will trigger the system to recheck all of the business rules. This applies for example to those related to availability of berths, equipment and services. As such PortControl offers Harbour Masters and shipping planners with all the information to take the most efficient decision. After the planning is updated all stakeholders are automatically notified.

Darwin VTS and PMIS

Benefits for Freeports

Freeports have an important role in developing local economies. They are magnets for all kinds of business, creating jobs along the way. One of the hallmarks of a freeport is their sheer size. Businesses need room for work areas to add value to imported materials and exporting those again. This means that land space is at a premium and needs to be used as efficiently as possible.

The PortControl PMIS effectively manages leases for lands and buildings, giving the port an exact insight what is needed to effectively use this space. For example, timely lease renewal alerts may be a trigger to find a new tenant if the current tenant does not want to renew a lease.

Effective for port finances with a single point of truth

Whether or not they are a Freeport, ports bring a lot of added value to the nearby community. Ports attract many different businesses and create many jobs related to offered port services. It is therefore crucial that these services are correctly billed.

With PortControl functioning as a single point of truth, a port has all information in one place. Services rendered are precisely recorded, leading to single, itemized invoices for each vessel visit. Digital proof of the provided service makes that these invoices are less contested.

With tariffs depending on a whole range of parameters with complex rules, PortControl even handles complex situations in which a ship’s cargo is still being traded while it is entering the port. These transactions sometimes do not come unto a stop until the cargo is physically offloaded from the ship.

Intelligent cargo processing

In an ideal world, cargo manifests are unambiguous. In daily business it is not so. Our intelligent cargo handling gets 98% of the manifests processed without manual intervention where other systems do not get past 40%. By using AI developments Saab aims to improve that performance. This frees up time for port staff to focus on other tasks.

PortControl mobile app screenshot

Work from anywhere

The recent pandemic has clearly shown the need for, and advantages of, remote working. PortControl provides web based access for port staff and external users, such as agents and service providers, allowing them to work from any location. This includes handling operations at remote unmanned ports.

Many facilities for external users are self-service, e.g. agents logging in on the PortControl website and providing notice of arrival, cargo manifests, and booking the required services by themselves.

Port staff can record data on mobile apps or web pages in real-time from anywhere, recording data such as times, meter readings and tallies. This allows port staff to focus on other tasks that bring direct revenue. With information coming straight from the sources, errors in data occur much less often. No more unreadable paper forms with smudged ink, but unambiguous digital data instead. That this data is available in real-time, makes that follow-up processes, including billing can be performed much faster.

Form follows function

In essence, ports have the same processes, but often follow different procedures. Petrochemical ports prioritise safety and environmental protection. Landlord ports need specific functionality for managing complex lease agreements for buildings and lands. Cargo ports have an emphasis on terminal operations.

Even though there are differences, port types are not mutually exclusive. There are many commonalities. PortControl offers various configuration options to reflect the way a port works, for example business rules to validate arrival notices and requested services, as well as the corresponding tariff structures.

In our work, we often integrate different departments, building a system of systems that supports a single end-to-end workflow within the port. For example, the agent portal allows a ship’s agent to give notice of arrival for a vessel and request the resources to handle that visit. This goes automatically to the planning department where planners can instantly start the next step in the workflow without having to re-enter the same information in a different system. The flow continues with service request and ultimately with the billing. 

Integration as a force multiplier

A Port Management Information System works wonders stand-alone, but really realises its full potential when connected with other solutions. This is the essence of Saab’s Fairway to Freeway concept, where a system of systems works in concert to safely and efficiently move cargo as quickly as possible through the port.

The MaritimeControl Vessel Traffic Services system and PortControl exchange information in real time that benefits users of both systems. Likewise, Saab’s PilotControl Pilot Dispatch Management System for example neatly ties into the PMIS, making use of vessel data, including sailing plans, to optimally assign jobs to marine pilots.

Start small, grow grand

A key property of PortControl is that it scales very well. It serves the full spectrum of ports, inland and coastal, of all sizes. From the Port of Ashburton, Australia to the Port of Belfast, Ireland. The modular design of PortControl allows customers to pick the functionality that best matches their port. At the same time, they have the certainty that the PMIS can grow with their needs for years to come.

Contact us

Can't find the answer to your questions? Don't hesitate to contact us.


Contact picture Judyth Almasi
Judyth Almasi
Director Business Development


Daniel Christophersen
Daniel Christophersen
Director Business Development UK and Australia


Steven Detre
Director Business Development


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