HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division recently completed beta testing Hawaii.PortCall.com, a web-based vessel scheduling system that went live on January 1, 2016. Hawaii.PortCall.com grants access to cruise line itinerary around the world to access open berths at Hawaii’s commercial ports years in advance. Itinerary planners can view the availability of berthing space when reserving passenger ship visits at any of the Department of Transportation commercial ports (Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai; Honolulu Harbor, Oahu; Kahului Harbor, Maui; and Hilo Harbor, Hawaii; including Department of Land and Natural Resources berths at Kona and Lahaina Harbors.
Hawaii.PortCall.com supports the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s marketing effort in promoting Hawaii as a destination. The system eliminates traditional processes of having facsimile machines or emails document first come first serve reservations to Harbormasters. The system promotes transparency and fairness to agents competing for reservations by allowing agents to submit early reservations and provides an auditable documentation of the Harbors Division’s reservation policy of first come first serve.
Posting of vessel schedules on Hawaii.PortCall.com provides 24/7 access to newspapers and the general public of the next day’s vessels’ estimated time of arrival and today’s vessels in port. Hawaii.PortCall.com serves vessel agents, ground transportation operators (bus and taxis) and the general public that want to greet passengers or families at passenger terminals.
During elevated warnings of tsunamis or hurricanes Hawaii.PortCall.com allows Federal, State and County emergency disaster planners and harbor users (stevedore linesmen, tug operators and harbor pilots) one source to view the vessels that are in port and plan an efficient evacuation of the vessels or identify those vessels that will remain in port seeking safe harbor refuge. This tool allows the Harbormaster to formulate an informed response based on real time information about all vessel movements and resumption of port operations.
Funding for the project was generously provided through the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) which serves as a critical bridge between government and private sectors and acts as a liaison between the visitor industry and island communities.
ABOUT HAWAII’S PORTS
According to an economic analysis done in 2007, “The Impact To Hawaii’s harbors on the Local Economy (L. Laney, May 2007), Hawaii imports more than 80% of all consumer goods – food, fuel, clothing, autos, building supplies, machinery, paper and allied products, medical supplies and agricultural products – that we consume in Hawaii 98.6% of those goods pass through our harbors. Ocean transportation is Hawaii’s lifeline to the world and vital to the economic security of the State. Considering that throughput per acre at Sand Island is higher than any terminal in North America, it is not surprising that the Port of Honolulu made the coveted Top 100 List of “World Top Container Ports” again this year according to Container Management magazine.
HDOT will continue to explore new opportunities as a means of effectively managing and operating a statewide commercial harbors system that facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods to, from and between the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii.PortCall.com system accomplishes that objective by creating a collaborative environment that assembles all essential parties to ensure that vessels are able to access port facilities, conduct their business and depart the port with a minimum of effort.