ABP becomes first ports group in Europe to use digital Master Pilot Exchange, eMPX

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Caption: ABP Southampton Marine Pilot using eMPX software


Associated British Ports (ABP) is the first ports group in Europe to use a new digital Master Pilot Exchange programme developed by Ports of Auckland, eMPX, simplifying the current process.  

Already in use at ports in New Zealand and Australia, ABP’s 21 ports will become the first European-based ports to roll out and use the software. After a successful trial completed in 2021, eMPX will assist all ABP marine pilots in helping to guide ships of all shapes and sizes into safe harbours.

eMPX, the new global standard for master-pilot exchange, is designed with cutting-edge technology, and provides pilots with an entirely digital experience, eliminating the need for paper-based processes.

Using an iPad, pilots will be able to plan ahead of a vessel’s arrival at port, before sharing the plans and port data with ships’ masters, with the ability to update the plan if a ship is delayed. Data can also be stored, with all data then stored in the cloud, readily available for future reference.

Speaking about the partnership, James Clark, Technical Authority Marine, said: “It has been great working with Ports of Auckland to develop this new software for ABP’s pilots, and we are delighted to work with the team in New Zealand to make it happen. Not only does this simplify the process in terms of a paper-to-digital process, but we will now be in a position to send ships information about their planned passage ahead of time, which all contributes to better bridge resource management as well as providing our customers with better information.”

Jason Ranston, Business Manager, Ports of Auckland, said: "At Ports of Auckland, we have been thoroughly impressed with the deep level of insight that ABP’s pilots have been able to provide, as well as the commitment to support the ongoing development of eMPX. For us, ABP’s ports represent eMPX’s first step into Europe as a software provider, and we are excited to have ABP join a growing global community of marine pilots dedicated to the enhancement of our master pilot exchange system.”

The use of eMPX at ABP’s ports is part of its long-term vision for digitalisation. Already in use amongst marine pilots in Southampton, ABP plans to roll out eMPX with pilots in its other 20 ports by the end of 2022.