Port Wings News Network:
Online disbursements accounting platform provider, Harbor Lab, has introduced a new online tool that instantly generates estimated port costs for shipping companies.
The Port Cost Estimator provides operators with estimated port expenses to support timely voyage cost calculations and decision making, to fix the best option for the vessel.
Traditionally port tariffs are obtained directly from the port or ship’s agent, are time consuming to get hold of and are often the final expense operators need to complete TCE (time charter equivalent) calculations to secure a shipment.
With Harbor Lab’s new tool, an operator inputs the vessel’s name, port of arrival, activity – for example loading/ discharging – cargo type and quantity, and other vessel specifications. The software, which can be accessed via any web-enabled computer or mobile device, then instantly calculates an approximate cost based on these details.
The tool went live in July 2021 and complements Harbor Lab’s Disbursement Accounting (DA) Tool launched in March last year.
The Port Cost Estimator is powered by the DA Tool’s high-quality data and sophisticated algorithms to provide accurate estimations.
Harbor Lab CEO and founder, Antonis Malaxianakis, said: “We are delighted to launch our Port Cost Estimator that puts the vessel operator in control of the second largest expense related to a voyage, following bunker fuel costs. With our new tool the vessel operator will no longer have to face delays due to different time zones in order to retrieve this information and puts the operator one step ahead of competitors. Having worked in disbursements for Greek ship owners earlier in my career I am aware of how time consuming it can be to get hold of reliable port cost data and potentially losing business. Harbor Lab’s Port Cost Estimator has been designed with vessel operators in mind and key information is just a few clicks of the mouse away.”
Whilst estimations generated by the software are instant, they are customised to the specific vessel requirements taking into account all details supplied. Costs are calculated using real-time port data gathered from across the globe by Harbor Lab’s team of data scientists and experienced maritime professionals.
Users can generate unlimited port cost calculations with an annual fixed fee for use of the tool.
Port costs are one of several variable expenses required for accurate TCE calculations. Others include bunker costs, agent’s fees, canal transit fees, and towage and pilotage costs. Harbor Lab’s DA Tool gives a transparent overview of all expenses and connects the operator to agents via the system. The DA Tool integrates seamlessly with the Port Cost Estimator to provide a quick, comprehensive and transparent overview to the operator.
All tools are found within the platform and no software downloads are required. Harbor Lab can also integrate its software easily with all ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems.
Harbor Lab is an Athens, Greece-based maritime software company specialising in disbursement accounting processing. Founded in March 2020 by Antonis Malaxianakis, it currently has 300 vessels whose disbursement accounting is run through the platform and more than 1200 agents and vendors registered. Since the company’s inception, it has rolled out three cloud-based products that provide vessel operators, managers and charterers with greater transparency and in-house control and monitoring of their vessels’ costs. Harbor Lab has 26 employees all based at its Athens office.