WFP Shipping's New Real Time Vessel Tracking Application

Following last week's post covering green technologies currently being considered by WFP Shipping we bring you an update on some new advances in the Shipping department. If you remember, in our green tech story we wrote that,

"GPS tracking allows shipping lines to better plot the location of their ships and more accurately time the arrival of their vessels in port. Better timing means fewer bottlenecks in busy ports and less time spent idling, which is a major contributor to unnecessary emissions while in port."

Shipping is proud to announce that they just completed first phase roll out of their new real time vessel tracking application. Built using the same system currently in use by other units in WFP, the Shipping unit can now monitor a number of vessels in real time thus allowing for increased fuel efficiency, decreased port congestion and improved security.

WFP Shipping can now visualize real time data using both Google Earth and custom maps. The real advantage of using this system is that during an emergency the unit can now quickly and easily visualize the location of all vessels and immediately make a decision about which would be the best vessel to redirect based on cargo. Rather than dispatch an entirely new shipment, an vessel in the region can be redirected and dispatch its cargo in a matter of days as opposed to the weeks it would take to send a new vessel.

By scrolling over each ship the Shipping unit can also immediately visualize all data relevant to that vessel in a scrolling text box which is visible in the screenshot above. Vessel name, coordinates, bearing, speed and other key data are all visible to the operator of the system. In future versions the unit is hoping to also include cargo type, volume, origin and other relevant information about the food onboard so that decisions can made quickly and effortlessly about the suitability of the cargo for a redirect.

Precise data can still be extracted for a quick overview of vessel specifics. Information is sent directly from the shipping line to the service for the duration of the charter. Once the charter concludes data is no longer made available to the unit security reasons.

WFP Shipping's Stephen Cahill says that the new system is extremely useful and that the added oversight is a welcome addition to their growing suite of technologies. In July we wrote about their new GT Nexus cargo tracking software which gives them the ability to track all 55,000 containers as they move through ports around the world.

With a few clicks of a mouse the shipping team can work more efficiently, save costs, reduce fuel consumption and rapidly respond to new emergencies.