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Importance of Efficient Ports, Data-Sharing & the STEAM Project

Cyprus Subsea Consulting and Services Ltd (CSCS) is proud of our ongoing contributions to advance sea traffic management, innovative monitoring & forecasting systems through Sea Traffic Management in the EAstern Mediterranean (STEAM). This three-year project funded under the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation’s “Integrated” projects develops the Port of Limassol to become a world-class transshipment and information hub.

Currently, more than 90% of Cypriot seaborne transport is Short Sea Shipping (SSS). The geographical location of Cyprus makes the island’s ports transshipment hubs for SSS. For shipping, and particularly for SSS, there are obvious and immediate benefits from improving data sharing systems.

The STEAM project is based on the foundations laid out by the EU Sea Traffic Management (STM) Validation Project, through which the concept of a Collaborative Decision Making system for ports (PortCDM) is currently being validated in 13 ports of Europe, including the Port of Limassol. CSCS contributes to STEAM by designing and implementing a layer of real time environmental monitoring to the Port Collaborative Decision Making system. This layer includes optimally quality controlled and processed data from models, satellites and sensors.

Mikael Lind, Michalis Michaelides, Robert Ward, Herodotos Herodotou and Richard T. Watson outline the validation process in an article in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Transport and Trade Facilitation Newsletter titled “Boosting data-sharing to improve Short Sea Shipping Performance: Evidence from Limassol port calls analysis“.

From the UNCTAD Transport and Trade Facilitation Newsletter:

Considering the port call data analysis and the experience from validating PortCDM, the ports of Cyprus, and especially the Port of Limassol will be upgraded as information hubs, exchanging information with both nearby ports and ships in the Eastern Mediterranean. This will enhance the capabilities of all port actors involved in the port call process including the shipping agents. Moreover, the enhanced data sharing capability is expected to help establish the Cyprus ports as transshipment hubs for SSS, which will be realized in the newly approved STEAM project, by improving their competitiveness.

The experience of the Cyprus ports is not unique, it illustrates a phenomenon that exists all over the world. It follows that every port should become connected to other ports to provide more efficient SSS. Many of the world’s ports, large and small, are confronting the same issues about making SSS more efficient – this applies equally in developed and developing countries. Better data sharing based on the PortCDM concept can help overcome problems observed and contribute to make shipping cleaner, safer and more efficient and to meet sustainability goals advocated by the United Nations.