​Development Group


US' Vortex develops Digital Bunker App to boost operational efficiency

13th February 2017 08:54 GMT

     The switch from traditional bunker delivery notes to electronic ones will digitize cumbersome paperwork and improve operational efficiency. Some ports, such as Singapore, have already been pushing for electronic bunker delivery notes, or E-BDNs, as a way of increasing bunkering productivity.

     "In Gibraltar, for example, we are working with the Gibraltar Port Authority to start field testing Digital Bunker," Vortex Co-Founder Jeff Mildner said.

     Vortex's Digital Bunker App is the engine behind "E-Ship Safety" and "E-BDN" forms, and is available for tablets and phones on Apple's App store.  E-BDN and E-BDR -- which refers to electronic bunker delivery receipts -- are registered trademarks with the United States Trademark and Patent Office, with applications pending in other countries under the Madrid Protocol.

     E-Ship Safety is an ISGOTT-compliant electronic pre-bunkering checklist for use in ports around the world.  It captures GPS-tagged ship stamp photos, signatures, and answers to 23 ISGOTT delivery safety questions and is available now for use at no charge.

     E-BDN, an electronic version of a bunker delivery note that incorporates automatic API 2004 volumetric and density calculations and is custom-tailored to each company's paperwork for the output to look like existing paper forms, will be available by mid-second quarter, Mildner said.

     "The adoption of E-BDN's will also likely diminish the volume of bunker claims significantly, as it is impossible to fudge this document chain," Mildner said. "Unless everyone in the supply process is involved with altering their copy of an E-BDN identically, it makes no sense to alter just one.  Additionally, the information presented on the E-BDNs must match the corresponding records in a database for each question response."

     Companies can also access bunkering history from their own E-BDN database, including details such as vessels fueled and types of bunkers loaded/supplied, Mildner said.

     In addition, Vortex's E-STEM complements E-Ship Safety and replaces the multi-step process of nomination and order confirmation.

     "We're about to embark on field trials on a larger scope in the coming weeks and hope to complete them in the next six months," Mildner said.