New centralized scheduling system for commercial ships to improve reliability, safety and efficiency at the Port of Vancouver
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority today launched a new centralized scheduling system for commercial ships—the first of its kind at a Canadian port—designed to enhance the safety, reliability and efficiency of goods movement at the Port of Vancouver.
Developed as part of the port authority-led Active Vessel Traffic Management Program, the centralized scheduling system will help coordinate and optimize commercial ship traffic throughout the port authority’s jurisdiction—with the goal of improving both ships’ turnaround times and the volume of cargo handled by Port of Vancouver terminals.
The new system will be initially rolled out in the busy waterway of the Second Narrows (Burrard Inlet), enabling the port authority to play an active and leading role sequencing the traffic of commercial ships, tugs and barges visiting the six marine terminals east of the Second Narrows rail bridge. During its initial rollout, the centralized scheduling system is expected to help coordinate and optimize more than 1,000 ship transits a year—increasing fluidity, reliability, safety and efficiency in this key trade area where high volumes of marine and rail traffic intersect.
The system was co-developed with DHI SeaPort OPX and based on the award-winning NCOS Online ship traffic management system, which provides near real-time forecast of environmental conditions for safe vessel transit and has increased capacity at several ports. At the Port of Vancouver, it will provide the local tide and current data, and supply chain insights to support decisions on optimal transit windows and schedules for cargo ships.
One of the key pieces of feedback the port authority heard throughout Indigenous and public engagement in 2022 was a desire to reduce commercial ships’ use of anchorages near the Southern Gulf Islands. The rollout of the centralized scheduling system in the Second Narrows is an important step in responding to that feedback and will allow the port authority to better plan and coordinate ship traffic heading to and from six major marine terminals in the Vancouver harbour for increased port efficiency and improved ships’ turnaround times in port.
By improving ships’ movements and turnaround times at the port, the centralized system will also help reduce the use of commercial anchorages and associated impacts such as noise, light and air pollution on the environment and coastal communities.
The port authority will extend the centralized scheduling system to other high-traffic areas across its jurisdiction in later phases of the program to further increase efficiency at the Port of Vancouver and strengthen national supply chains.