Source image: Port of Rotterdam
Rotterdam, August 23, 2023
A collaboration is taking shape between Rotterdam: Platform Zero and software provider UAB-Online to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in shipping. Platform Zero is working with the Port of Rotterdam and the Municipality of Rotterdam to build a decarbonisation platform and create a climate technology ecosystem focused on achieving global net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. UAB-Online’s software can streamline terminal operations, reduce idle times in port, and achieve emissions reductions in small steps.
“We see UAB as a great example of an organisation that is leveraging software to achieve serious reductions in inefficiencies in the liquid bulk market,” said Platform Zero co-founder Auke Ferwerda. “Whereas most of the focus in maritime decarbonisation is on developing fuels with less harmful emissions, the UAB-Online solution is curtailing emissions in the first place.”
Both Platform Zero and UAB-Online support the development of green corridors, maritime routes that emphasise low- and zero-emissions lifecycle fuels and technologies to achieve zero GHG emissions along the entire corridor.
“Establishing a green corridor is a good initiative we have supported for years,” said UAB-Online chief executive Hans Bobeldijk. The company is working with ports in Rotterdam, Singapore and Houston, and is within the Dutch trade commission setting up green corridors.
Mr Bobeldijk sees digitalisation as an essential initiative to enable just-in-time efficiency and port call optimisation, using software to streamline terminal operations and cut idle times.
“A top-down green corridor is feasible for time charter container ships, but in the liquid bulk sector it is much more fragmented,” said Mr Bobeldijk. “A more bottom-up approach to achieving results for the terminals directly is essential.”
Green corridors can accelerate the early adoption of alternative zero-emissions fuels to minimise the environmental footprint of shipping and ports. Adopting these fuels and technologies, while slow in the short term, will rapidly accelerate once the supply chain is established and governments and the shipping sector signal their intent for the energy transition.
Gathering the stakeholders who can make a green corridor a reality is one of the challenges Platform Zero is tackling by looking at solutions that satisfy all the parties involved, including port authorities, shipowners, shippers, captains, certification authorities, insurers and legal authorities.
“We sometimes see one stakeholder thinking another stakeholder should provide the solutions,” said Mr Ferwerda, “but we look for the experts that are paving the way and have user insights into how we should tackle the larger overarching problems, so we can develop policies and look for best practices that can be applied.”
Mr Bobeldijk added, “It is our job to bring all the parties together in liquid bulk to get an optimised ecosystem. This is an important puzzle piece for optimising the entire maritime sector. Platform Zero helps to bring all the pieces together.”
International co-operation is critical for achieving global net-zero emissions. Platform Zero is working towards fostering collaboration in several ways. It will take a combination of large initiatives such as green corridors and hydrogen innovation agreements, together with grassroots approaches such as UAB-Online’s work in the liquid bulk sector to achieve global net-zero emissions.
“There is an imperative for all of us to curtail emissions today, because effectively we can achieve real-life optimisation today,” said Mr Ferwerda.
“UAB-Online helps us see what we can already deliver. Then, we can leverage all the contributions and start piecing the puzzle together. There are fantastic solutions available in the market, so let’s all start using them and see what we can do.”
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