Vopak ISGOTT v6. Europoort Terminal Rotterdam.

The digitalization of the Ship Shore documentation is one example that establishes the collaboration’s strength between Vopak and Smartflow. 

With Smartflow, Vopak has digitalized the ISGOTT 6 procedures very fast and has used the platform's versatility to include various stakeholders in the process. To better understand the process covered by Smartflow, we have outlined the entire workflow in the use case. 

Digitalizing all the handshakes between various parties involved, such as terminals, vessels, agencies, shipping companies, and the authorities, is an important strategic goal for Vopak, and the introduction of version 6 of the International Safety Guide for Tankers and terminals (ISGOTT 6) provided a well-grounded reason to accelerate this. 

During our visit to the Europort Terminal, we interviewed the terminal superintendent. We learned how using a digital solution like Smartflow to capture, track and keep records safely stored in the cloud helps the designated workers to access them at any time, reassuring terminals that they are fully compliant with governmental regulations, and that they don't misplace any file, saving time, extra workforce, and avoid fines or even more severe consequences.

  • The Ship’s Master and the Terminal Representative share a joint responsibility to operate safely and efficiently when a tanker is at a terminal. 

  • The Master or his representative and the terminal representative need to make a list of actions before cargo or ballast operations begin.

  • Agree on the transfer procedures, including the maximum loading or unloading rates

  • Agree on the actions to be taken in the event of an emergency during cargo or ballast handling operations

  • Complete and sign the Ship/Shore Safety Checklist (SSSCL)

About Vopak

Royal Vopak is a Dutch independent multinational company that stores and handles products ranging from chemicals, oil, gases, and LNG to biofuels and vegoils in three end markets: energy, manufacturing, and food & agriculture. It operates 80 terminals with a storage capacity of more than 27 million cbm in 32 countries. They connect the supply of and demand for vital products and resources around the world.

This use case focuses on Vopak Europoort which is a large-scale independent oil hub terminal in the Port of Rotterdam.

The Challenge. Paper-based ISGOTT Process

Vopak procures products from various suppliers across Europe and stores them at their terminal. Numerous ships arrive at their ports daily. The entire ISGOTT process involves parts 1 to 9 divided into pre-arrival, arrival, and repetitive checks performed by the loading master at the terminal and the ship’s captain at the tanker.

Multiple challenges were faced by the professionals involved in the ISGOTT activities. Maintaining and printing piles of paper checklists was not easy.

Apart from this, the entire procedure of manual form filling was quite time-consuming. Sometimes the product discharging took weeks, and the operator in charge of each shift had to fill in the same information again and again, which caused delays.

There were miscommunications during the shift change, while sometimes there were errors. Another obstacle was preserving all the old records. Important data was lost in the bundles of paper while in storage.

At the time of safety audits, searching through the whole stockpile of checklists to show relevant information to the auditor was a task.

The solution. fully digitized ISGOTT process

Vopak wanted an easy-to-use, cost-effective solution to overcome these challenges.

They turned to Smartflow, which provided them with a fully digitized ISGOTT process connecting the loading master, ship captain, operations team, logistics department, and Vopak’s backend system.

The solution implemented in July 2021 was co-developed with Vopak and improved based on their feedback.

Smartflow standardized their loading and discharging operations ensuring the smooth arrival of oil tankers at the Europoort Terminal Rotterdam,  as well as other terminals from Asia and the USA, reducing ship/shore documentation while focusing on the ultimate goal of safety and environmental protection.

The result. Digital ISGOTT Checklists

At the Europoort terminal, 70 ships arrive per month, and each of these ships has to go through ISGOTT checks. After implementing Smartflow, the total time taken by the loading master to fill in the ISGOTT checklists was reduced from 45 minutes to 10 minutes, thereby decreasing the vessel turnaround time.

With Smartflow, no human contact was required while performing all the ISGOTT tasks increasing everyone's safety at the tanker and the terminal during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The form has prefilled data which not only saved time but automatically notified everyone involved if there was a mistake. The entire team could track it in real-time, reducing all possibilities of any kind of errors or miscommunication. In addition, there was zero printing cost and no paper waste.

Fewer errors

After implementation, the ISGOTT checklists have fewer errors and no misinterpretation of the written text.

Increased Efficiency

The entire time to fill in the ISGOTT checklist has been reduced from 45 minutes to 10 minutes, decreasing the vessel turnaround time and thereby increasing efficiency.

Real-Time Tracking

The terminal can check vessel ETAs or delays in real-time, monitor on-time arrival, and reduce discharge delays.

Digital data

All the old records are stored digitally, reducing paper waste and printing costs. The terminal gets better insights into previous data and uses it for further analysis.

Zero paper waste

The entire terminal now has zero paper wastage while performing ISGOTT digitally.

The future

Vopak was able to build its digital infrastructure with the global rollout of the Smartflow Platform across various terminals, and they will continue to incorporate it further. Our SaaS solution helped them transform their frontline operations and speed up their work which made them more efficient.

Smartflow not only supported them with standardizing their ISGOTT checklists but also other digital shipping forms, truck handling self-arrival processes, and digital operator rounds, and will continue with more use cases in the future.

Why Vopak chose Smartflow

Contactless Solution

The tanker and the terminal can perform arrival, pre-arrival, and repetitive checks without any human interaction.

Customizable Platform

Customized ISGOTT solution as per the terminal rules and Covid-19 regulations.

Easy integration

Integrated with Vopak's Customer Order System with the help of RPA.

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Digitalizing all the handshakes between various parties involved, such as terminals, vessels, agencies, shipping companies, and the authorities, is an important strategic goal for companies, and the introduction of version 6 of the International Safety Guide for Tankers and terminals (ISGOTT 6) provides a well-grounded reason to accelerate this

About Smartflow

Smartflow is a SaaS software platform that digitalizes inspection checklists and standardizes workflows. The cloud-based solution equips companies with a collaborative tool that connects field workers with office representatives to create a fully comprehensive information transfer and data reporting.

  • Leo Brand

    CIO at Vopak
    With the rollout of the Smartflow platform at our terminals, we will be able to speed up, building our digital infrastructure to transform our frontline operations. Our people at the terminal will be able to work much more efficiently, and they will be supported in standardizing processes like ISGOTT and digital operator rounds.
  • Project Lead Digitization Jasmine Ang Picture

    Ang Jasmine

    Project Lead Digitization at Vopak

    Good things must be shared! I truly believe that digital ISGOTT is an industry game-changer. Apart from the benefits that come with remote access to complete checklists, there is now greater visibility of status for all necessary stakeholders and an easy archival/retrieval system. No need to store more stacks of paper! Go green, go sustainable!

  • COO at NxtPort International profile picture

    Geert de Wilde

    COO at NxtPort International

    Smartflow makes the declaration of inspection - ISGOTT 6, the international #safety check-list for #oil tankers and #terminals, much more convenient, efficient, cost-effective and transforms productivity. Compliance with Covid-19 safety regulations is ensured, it is done entirely digitally instead of face-to-face.

  • profile picture Edwin managing direct NxtPort Asia


    Managing Director at NxtPort Asia

    Smartflow is a highly configurable tool that allows it to easily include local forms like terminal-specific pre-arrival questionnaires, safety guidelines, declaration, and load/discharge plans. Smartflow’s Digital Ship/Shore Safety Checklist solution allows terminal operators and refineries to fully digitize this workflow.

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