News in brief

Port Esbjerg launching yet another digital tool for all users of the port

Digitalisation is increasingly becoming part of everyday life at the port of Esbjerg. “We’ve actually only seen the tip of the iceberg as yet,” emphasises Jesper Bank, CCO at Port Esbjerg.

In 2020, Port Esbjerg formed a partnership with technology company Honeywell, using digital tools to monitor and manage resources, energy consumption and levels of carbon emissions at the port. Moreover, the autumn of 2020 saw the introduction of a new digital customer portal ‘CustomerPort’, which simplifies the process relating to port calls and cargo declarations.

Yet another digital tool is about to be launched, aimed at assisting all users of the port. The new service going by the name of ‘Hub Port Esbjerg’ is a digital brochure with pages that you can “turn” and it is interactive. If you come across, for example, a ship’s logo, you can click on it to see the name of the company handling the ships. The idea is that the users of the port can use the service in their marketing and in their interaction with their stakeholders.

The digital brochure will be launched shortly and will be freely accessible. Bank emphasises that this new service will by no means be the last in the line of digital tools.

“Digitalisation is quite similar to a snowball: you start something and then it gathers momentum. We’re only in the preliminary phase, and new “layers” will be added all the time. Both in relation to ourselves and our customers. We’re already gathering data at the port and now, we’ll approach all users of the port,” explains Bank. 

Port Esbjerg will soon be launching a new digital tool for all users of the port. It is called ‘Hub Port Esbjerg’ and this service will not be the last in the line of digital tools provided by Port Esbjerg.  

The Fanø ferry is getting ready for the new season

Spring is well underway, and it means that there is a hum of activity around the Fanø ferry terminal.

Preparations for the new season started already in February when passengers in Esbjerg got the opportunity to buy their tickets at a new ticket machine which will replace the manned ticket office during off-peak hours. In addition, from the beginning of March, passengers waiting for the ferry at Esbjerg have been able to sweeten the wait buying a cup of coffee at the new Barista Coffee Shop, the coffee shops owned by the passenger ferry company Molslinjen, which is established in the old ferry house at the newly renovated terminal in Esbjerg. This is the first time that a Barista Coffee Shop has been established on dry land!

“We’d like to improve our performance on the Fanø line, and therefore, we strive to improve continuously the experience we provide for our guests. Making our products better and easier to use is the way to ensure our longevity. It’s something that we need to be on top of at all times,” says Carsten Jensen, CEO of Molslinjen. 

With annual averages of 1.8 million passengers and 16,000 port calls at Esbjerg, the two Fanø ferries, Fenja and Menja, also need to be readied for another busy season. During March, the two ferry engines will be serviced one after the other and their on-board safety equipment will be scrupulously checked, so the Sønderho ferry will be called upon to provide “relief” services between Fanø and Esbjerg during this period.

In addition, Molslinjen is working on reducing the queues that occur particularly during high season. To that end, an extra ticket machine has been installed at check-in, and Molslinjen is collaborating with Port Esbjerg to extend the area where the cars are waiting to drive on board the ferry.

“We’ll commission our new electric ferry in October, giving us three vessels operating on the route and providing a better service flow,” explains Jensen.

Molslinjen has a strategy that by 2030, all its ferries will have reduced their carbon emissions by 70 per cent. The first step is to minimise the consumption of fossil fuels on the Esbjerg–Fanø route.

The new Barista Coffee Shop opened at the beginning of March. The opening was attended by (from right to left) Carsten Jensen, CEO of Molslinjen, Sofie Valbjørn, the Mayor of Fanø and Dennis Jul Pedersen, CEO of Port Esbjerg.

The winter weather 2020/2021 at Esbjerg was an icy affair

It has been very cold this winter, and it left its mark also at the port of Esbjerg. We have had significantly more ice in the harbour than we normally do on account of the relatively long period of severe frost.

“It didn’t affect the traffic at sea too much, but had the cold spell continued, there would have been a very real risk that we’d have needed icebreaker assistance at Esbjerg. Two of our marker buoys in Østhavnen were pulled loose by the ice, and we need to get them repaired before we put them out again,” explains Jesper Jørgensen, who is an engineer with Port Esbjerg.

However, if you consider the winter periods at the beginning of 2020 and 2021, we have seen very few high sea-level events. Only five times – during February 2020 – was the sea level above 2.4 metres DVR90. There have also been periods with very low sea levels, which according to Jørgensen are quite normal and happen during periods of strong winds from the east.

“It’s generally been a quiet winter without any great fluctuations,” says Jørgensen.

The graph shows how much the high sea level varies from year to year. In 2020, there were five storm surge events, while there were none in 2019.
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