Westug Live with AI-assisted Dispatch

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 7, 2019

Logo: OptiPort

Logo: OptiPort

Perth-based Harbor towage operator, Westug Pty Ltd (Westug) has announced their successful start with the OptiPort AI-assisted Dispatch system in its new Port Hedland operation to ensure long-term, efficient and sustainable towage services in the port on behalf of KOTUG for Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue). 

The announcement was made alongside the official start of Westug’s towage operations in the world’s leading and largest dry bulk export port with an annual export volume of over 500 million tons of iron ore, 35% of which is supplied by Fortescue and is now the fourth port globally to use AI-assisted dispatch in its operations.

The OptiPort solution chosen by Westug uses Helm CONNECT Jobs, a leading platform for harbor towage dispatch and operational management, fully integrated with PortX’s OptiPort AI-assisted Dispatch system. “OptiPort is a revolutionary way of vessel dispatching that combines large amounts of AIS data with all relevant port system information systems resulting in the most optimal vessel dispatching that responds real time to the slightest changes in all available data. It allows us to quickly and easily plan the dispatch schedule for our vessels, and also automatically optimizes our planning, suggesting which tugs to use for which job and the speeds they should travel to ensure we’re not wasting fuel or increasing emissions.” Says Shaun Thomas, Chief Operating Officer at Westug, who was part of the team responsible for implementing the dispatch solution. “It’s an approach that will allow us to greatly reduce wasted fuel and improve efficiency for our client Fortescue, while maintaining the highest level of safety and operational excellence.”

In Port Hedland, Westug uses a two-stage planning solution, creating the initial plan to ensure sufficient capacity and fleet availability in Helm CONNECT. In the second stage, OptiPort analyses the expected vessel line-up, actual ETA/ETD’s, crew resting hours and other factors and assists dispatchers in assigning the most optimal tugs to each vessel, ensuring the most optimal and efficient schedule is maintained throughout the course of the operations.

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