PortXchange and Greater Houston Port Bureau embark on five-year digitalization partnership

PortXchange Products B.V., the Netherlands-based digital solutions provider for predictable and sustainable shipping, has today agreed a five-year partnership with Greater Houston Port Bureau (“GHPB” or “Port Bureau”) for the adoption and further development of its proprietary PortXchange system, a collaborative vessel and terminal planning platform.

In June 2020, PortXchange and the Port Bureau announced the first U.S. trial in Houston with more than 20 maritime companies involved in the Texas integrated chemical cluster. This trial was subsequently expanded to include the Port of Houston Authority (“Port Houston”), which has 2 separate terminals dedicated to the handling of cargo containers.

The shipping industry is coming under increased scrutiny to implement digitalization to improve port turnaround efficiencies, reduce overall expenses and mitigate climate impact. The PortXchange software is considered the best product to cater to the specific needs of the whole port community.

The agreement between PortXchange and the Port Bureau is a five-year reseller partnership and comes after a 12-month trial period. PortXchange will fully integrate the Port Bureau’s current HarborLights Vessel Tracking System into PortXchange’s platform, providing real-time vessel scheduling information sourced directly from the Houston Pilots. PortXchange will also continue to build several features with bespoke functionality to fit the specific needs of the Houston port community, maintain the digital infrastructure, onboard new users and facilitate APIs. Most of these new products and services will be provided through the Port Bureau, which will act as the voice of the port community.

Founded in 1929, the Port Bureau is a member driven, non-profit trade organization dedicated to promoting commerce and cooperation in the maritime industry. The Port Bureau operates the Maritime Exchange of Texas maintaining critical vessel movement data for the deep draft ports of Texas, including the busiest port in the U.S.

Sjoerd de Jager, PortXchange’s managing director, said: “This five-year engagement is a result of the perseverance and commitment of a large group of like-minded participants keen to decrease port turnaround time and increase efficiency of port calls. Foremost is the Port Bureau, which embraced the idea that digitalization and scheduling transparency is the future of any port and we look forward to extending our collaboration in the Houston port community.”

CAPT Bill Diehl, USCG (Ret.), president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, said: “Digitization and data are key for the port of Houston region to increase predictability, improve efficiency, and remain globally competitive. We often refer to our Port Bureau members as competitive partners because they work together to solve problems that affect the entire port, not just their own businesses. By partnering with PortXchange to offer data sharing platforms tailored to the unique needs of the port of Houston region, we are giving our industry members another tool for collaboration.”

Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston said: “I am always encouraged when our port community continuously seeks to secure resources and services for the greater good of the Houston Ship Channel. I am optimistic that this program will help further enhance and build on the efficiency of vessels calling the Port of Houston.”

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