I decided it was time to try out a hackathon, something that had always appealed to me. Impressed by the diversity of people there- everyone from data scientists, app developers, designers and shipping industry veterans. The team of 5 that that we formed managed to beat 23 teams and take the runner up prize of $3000, not a bad effort for a first timer!
Hackathon press release
Our team, Pilot Project proposed a mobile app called PortStat which allows shipping pilots to view the status at their destination berth (e.g. delays, crane status) by accessing existing real-time info. Currently data is siloed and delays are not communicated effectively. Furthermore we were surprised to learn that shipping pilots no longer use old school printed maps, but consumer ipads to access not only the map, but an overlay of the positions and (some) status of other ships.
By breaking data out of the compartmentalized silos we could get a clearer picture of what was going on at a berth. Pilots can use this info to re-schedule deployments of pilots and tugs, alter speeds and so on. This allows smarter allocation of pilots, tugs, agents and money.
We quantified the cost of delays using the provided datasets, and are currently investigating the possibility of commercialising the concept with existing stakeholders in Singapore's shipping industry.