Time in port

The ship’s time in port of a given vessel on a given call is an important concern in an efficient ship operation for shipping lines. The shorter it is, the better it is economically. Port time (or a ship’s time in port or ship turnaround time) is the time duration between a ship’s arrival at the entrance buoy and ship’s departure from the same buoy. It can be categorized as the following times:

  • Waiting Time: The period the ship waits for berth availability.
  • Manoeuvring Time: periods of manoeuvring in port either to reach anchorage or to reach berth or too leave the port.
  • Berthing Time: Actual time at berth. Berthing time normally consists of two parts: productive time and idle times (preparation time and arrangement time). The preparation time is the time before starting cargo handling after the ship is berthed, while the arrangement time is the time after finishing cargo handling until the ship is un-berthed. To increase the productivity at the berth, these non-production times must be minimised. Further, to make productive time more efficient, there should be no stoppage time that is related to breakdown, maintenance, etc.
  • Productive Time: Actual time from start of cargo handling operation to end of cargo handling operation.
  • Idle Time: Times in berth where there is no cargo handling operations.

A reduction of any of “these times” will improve the overall productivity of the ship in port. Among these times, in particular ‘waiting time’ and ‘berthing time’ must be emphasized since they are crucial criteria in ports facing latent or acute port congestion (MariEMS 2017).