Imagine being at the helm of a large-scale wind park development project, with thousands of pieces of cargo in transit to a construction site halfway around the world, and not knowing where that cargo is. Does that sound like the status quo? It may not be for much longer.
As the wind energy industry expands to the US market and beyond, the flow of foreign-made turbine components crossing the Atlantic is sure to increase. Changing traffic and weather conditions, multiple cargo transfers, and lack of accurate tracking technology leaves high-level project decision makers with unanswered questions. When will cargo arrive, and in what condition? With cargo transfers and inspections still being logged with pen and paper, and thousands of wind turbine components being shipped, the paperwork starts to stack up quickly.
Checking on the status of cargo in real-time isn’t easy. Although vessels can be tracked across the ocean using GPS, this doesn’t allow for more complex shipping oversight, such as tracking specific cargo movement, anticipating weather and traffic, and monitoring cargo inspections. Contractors and other high-level decision makers are left wondering where shipments are and when they will arrive. This diminishes contractors’ ability to prepare for shipment arrival, make scheduling adjustments when cargo is delayed, and alert receiving personnel of damaged cargo ahead of time.
The Fast Track to Insights
SEA.O.G, the project shipping and heavy lift experts in onshore and offshore renewable energy, understand how these questions shape the trajectory of a project. To streamline the journey from manufacturing to final destination, they’ve created TrakReport, a pioneering app and web solution that offers shipping oversight and real-time insights.
SEA.O.G has designed TrakReport to make the answers easy to find. A navigable interface shows the user a global view of all his or her shipments. It allows users to instantly sift for the information they want, allowing them to search and filter results by project name, ship name or number, cargo serial number, or destination.
TrakReport makes it possible for a user to check in with cargo at any transfer point, via status updates and port notifications. With the app, users can follow ships across the ocean by logging into satellites. No matter where the cargo is, TrakReport can identify whether the vessel is on time and following its usual course. Using sophisticated traffic and weather data, TrakReport can also identify potential delays on land or at sea.
When field users clock in using TrakReport, the app allows a remote user to search for personnel by job title keywords and see the real-time location of on-the-job workers. This added feature for safety management systems allows users to stay up-to-date with truck drivers, surveyors, field support, and supervisors.
This technology offers more than just a bird’s-eye view of shipments and personnel. It also gives an inspector’s view. Cargo inspectors can use TrakReport as a digital checklist, and upload photos of damage to individual pieces of cargo. Inspection reports are immediately available for users to review. The inspector can even choose to send a push notification as an alert. Surveyors and inspectors can also upload information about cargo vessels, creating a database of vessel specifications and equipment fittings. This information, once captured, is available for retrieval at any time.
TrakReport also incorporates beacon buoy technology that can be affixed to individual pieces of cargo. These beacons will automatically record acceleration, shock movement, lifting, and collision. Once within range of a mobile device, the beacons send in-depth updates to the user.
Digital Data Works Harder
A key advantage of TrakReport is that data is automatically stored digitally, rather than in boxes of paper collecting dust. TrakReport aggregates data about damages and delays, and can even display a heat map revealing which ports and routes cause the most trouble over time. This tool even makes it possible to automate the claims handling process.
Whether users want to see minute-to-minute updates about a shipment or view big-picture insights from their own database, TrakReport makes it possible. This transparency can streamline projects and allow users to follow data wherever it leads.