Wärtsilä accelerates Zanzibar port digitalisation project

Source: press release, 23 June 2022

At the official launch of the Zanzibar’s port digitalisation project
At the official launch of the Zanzibar’s port digitalisation project (photo: Fortis Company Ltd)

Wärtsilä Voyage, part of the technology group Wärtsilä, has signed a contract with Fortris Company Ltd to implement its pioneering Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) system and VTEK Technology’s Terminal Operating System (TOS) at Malindi Port in Zanzibar (Tanzania) for Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC). The project will significantly improve efficiency and transparency at the shipping and port hubs. The digitalisation of the port will enable ZPC to better manage operations amidst the rapid growth of the global supply chain. It will also help ZPC rise to the challenge of increased competition from Eastern African ports. The order was booked on 5 May 2022.

The Malindi port was built in 1920 and has one berth capable of receiving a 130-metre ship. The manual, paper-based systems currently in use have caused delays as trading activity in the region grows. Local company Fortris Company Limited, in partnership with Wärtsilä Voyage, is implementing the digitalisation project. The port’s revenue is expected to double as a result of implementing the systems.

“Zanzibar’s strategic geographical position gives it a comparative advantage in harnessing the benefits of the sea-based economy. Zanzibar has a strong history in maritime trade with an increased focus in the past two decades where it has had a major contribution to the economy. Developing and modernising the Port infrastructure will be a key contributor of sustainable economic growth,” says Mather Al-Ali, Head of Sales – MEAI Region at Wärtsilä Voyage. “We are delighted to have been selected as the ZPC & Fortris partners in this digital transformation program.”

Wärtsilä Voyage’s dynamic Port and Traffic Management solutions provide intelligent tools and digital technologies for coordinating vessel traffic and conducting efficient port operations. Wärtsilä Voyage’s scope of delivery will see the installation of a suite of its latest technologies including the company’s Advanced Intelligent Manoeuvring, Navi-Port, 3D, PilotPro Units and VTS Simulator modules, as well as a web version of Navi-Harbour.

Navi-Port facilitates the exchange of accurate arrival times between ports and ships, enabling vessels to automatically adjust speed to achieve just-in-time arrivals. Dynamic, real-time data sharing improves coordination, allowing for modifications to course and speed should conditions at port change during a voyage. Overall, Navi-Port enables more efficient operations planning to reduce congestion. VTEK’s Terminal Operating System will be integrated with Wärtsilä Voyage’s Navi-Port to allow for coordination of just-in-time arrivals and to optimise the flow of operations and cargo movements.

Meanwhile, Wärtsilä Voyage’s Navi-Harbour WebVTS will enable real-time vessel traffic data sharing for full situational awareness through a standard Internet browser. WebVTS supports navigational maps, traffic management tools, ship history, and works in various languages.

“As the economic and environmental benefits of just-in-time operations become increasingly clear to the maritime community, Wärtsilä Voyage will continue to invest in developing solutions which also help to support the IMO’s decarbonisation and greenhouse gas reduction strategies, effectively futureproofing the port and shipping industry. Our smart port solutions enable seamless interactions between port authorities, pilots, and ship traffic. This real-time information sharing among all interested stakeholders in the port environment will improve the quality of port services and help boost customer satisfaction, while making operations in confined port waters safer, easier, and more efficient. Ultimately, this also leads to lower freight costs and reduced CO2 emissions,” says Bruce Mills, Business Development Manager for Ship Traffic Control at Wärtsilä Voyage.

The official launch of the project was completed on 19 May 2022 with the attendance of the Minister of Transport & Infrastructure for Zanzibar, Board Members of the Zanzibar Ports Corporation, Director General of Zanzibar Ports Corporation, Director General e-GAZ, representative of Business Finland, CEO Fortris Co.Ltd, Head of Sales – MEAI Region at Wärtsilä Voyage and all project partners.