Crane Logger, an app downloadable from Google Play, reports and monitors crane activities at terminals, helping establish “what happens when a vessel is in port, what the cranes are doing, and at what time,” René Bendt, director of arl-shipping.com Limited, developer of the app, said in an interview with PortCalls.
“It is a tool that will help you direct your efforts to where improvements should take place,” Bendt added.
Crane Logger, Bendt said, is the first operational app for the port industry which can be downloaded just like Facebook or Grabtaxi. Since it is cloud-based, the Android app can be used even on tablets and smartphones.
Piloted in early April during two vessel port calls at the two Manila terminals, the app “allowed shipping line representatives to log unambiguously the exact activity timings for the cranes handling the vessel calls, discharging or loading containers, handling hatch covers and gearboxes, waiting for yard trucks, meal or shift breaks, weather conditions and other events affecting the crane work,” Hong Kong-based arl-shipping.com, a firm that provides configurable IT solutions to the global transportation community, said in a statement.
It noted the app “can help identify areas for potential improvements to operations, as well as monitoring effects of already initiated improvements.”
Aside from Manila, the app will be introduced in four ports in Africa.
Users of Crane Logger tick buttons that correspond to activity while the vessel is at berth; the app automatically calculates and reviews the statistics. Data is synched with the Crane Logger app, providing the user instant access to all crane activity loggings as well as enabling a crane status dashboard for online stakeholders.
Data is only available to the user, but can be shared with the user’s clients. Data stored can’t be tampered with, Bendt said.
Crane Logger can be used by terminal operators, stevedores, port authorities, shipping lines, agents, or their appointed third parties, providing greater visibility to users.
The app can be downloaded for free but requires a monthly usage fee. “The app/cloud way is indeed more cost effective than conventional software used for port operations,” according to Bendt.
Since Crane Logger is an app for recording all crane activities, it requires a reliable staff to click the buttons and do the reporting. For this Bendt suggests hiring a third party to ensure accuracy of data reported.
Soon arl-space.com, a sister unit of arl-shipping, will provide a handheld user interface for Android, iOS/iPhone as well as Windows Mobile native devices, allowing stakeholders visibility over ongoing crane activities wherever they are located.
Bendt said that aside from crane activities, there are plans to expand coverage of the app to encompass the entire range of activities engaged in by a ship in a terminal, including pilotage, tugging, mooring, and immigration. – Roumina Pablo