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Haifa Port's New Website Provides Full, Transparent Real-Time Data

Credit: Haifa Port

By The Maritime Executive 2019-07-16 17:51:14

After lengthy, meticulous planning, Haifa Port has launched a single ground-breaking website which in effect is six different websites, presenting the Port’s activity in three languages attractively and transparently, all in real time. This covers cargoes and the emerging tourism and cruise sector and expresses the strategic direction toward which the Port is headed. 

The Haifa Port Company's innovative website (www.haifaport.co.il) expresses the Company’s strategy for the coming years. This consists of excellence in service, transparency toward the customers and the public, innovation, addressing customers in the Arab countries neighboring Israel, such as Jordan, and the strengthening of sectors like general cargo and tourism, including the cruises and tourism sectors with the preparations for the opening of the Port to the general public as part of the municipal Waterfront Plan.

The State of Israel has in recent years been making a considerable effort, led by the Ministry of Transport, to position Haifa Port at the forefront of the logistical chain in the Middle East. This includes completion of the “Valley Railway” project from the Port of Haifa to the Jordanian border, and far-reaching plans to connect to other countries as well. Haifa Port is now moving this project one step forward by directly addressing, in Arabic, its potential customers across the border and presenting its capabilities, plus real-time data, to the potential overseas customers, as well as to the Arabic-speaking Israeli citizens.

Eshel Armony, Chairman of the Haifa Port Company Board of Directors, said: “The new Internet website expresses the Company’s strategy for the coming years. The fact that the site provides full service in Arabic dovetails perfectly with our intention to open eastward transport channels and to increase our cooperation with the moving of goods throughout the Middle East.”

Mendy Zaltzman, CEO of the Haifa Port Company, said: “The new website is an image of Haifa Port itself - high-quality, professional, service-oriented with a beauty and spirit unique to it. This is a substantial step upwards, positioning us in this field too, the online data field on the Web, at the highest level globally. In three words - Beware, it’s addictive.”

Zohar Rom, Port Spokesman and Manager of Communications and the Cruise Sector, said: “One can confidently say that this is one of the world’s 10 most advanced Port websites and also one of the most attractive. We have learned a lot from technologically leading ports like the Ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg, particularly in all matters concerning development of real-time technological tools. We now bring to our customers and to the general public a sleek website which is fun to browse and efficient to use - whether on a computer or on a mobile phone. The fact that the Port is fully localized for English and Arabic is an important message to the Port’s customers in Israel and in our neighboring countries. It is a clear, unmistakable statement that the Port is determined to become the main gateway into the Middle East.”

The Haifa Port Internet website actually consists of a fully developed website in three languages - Hebrew, Arabic and English, where all the information is updated in all three languages. Besides all this, there are detailed informational pages in 10 other languages.

The website activity in each language is divided into two main parts - the customers and cargoes part, providing data and tools about the cargo activity - Customers Portal, and the second part - Tourism Portal (with a different look and palette) - for the world of cruises and sailing from Haifa Port and general tourism and events taking place in the Haifa Port - all hot topics now in full swing throughout the Port.

Individually-tailored homepages

In addition, the new website introduces an interesting innovation in the form of dynamic, personally customized homepages. The visitor can choose the areas that interests them and get a page laid out and tailored to the areas of interest they has selected (until they changes his preferences, the homepage will remain with the most recent areas of interest the visitor selected, in the language of choice). Thus for example, in the cargoes area you can choose between: container ships, general cargo (everything that is not containers) and financial data. In the Tourism area you can choose between Israeli cruises and tourist liners. Haifa Port notes that the tool they have created, which enables creation of dynamic homepages, will later on facilitate creation of additional areas of interest.

Real-Time Data

The core of the cargoes portion of the website is the “Real-Time Data” area, where there are plenty of new features:

1. Ship’s schedule - a beautiful interface jointly operated with the Marine Traffic website - all of the information about ships expected to call at the Port in the coming month, or those that have departed in the past week, all with pictures of the ships in question and with the possibility to check their real-time location (including ships which will be docking in a few weeks from the present). Another innovation is that for the first time in Israel, the full arrival and departure times of the ship are presented in real time. For example: pilot boarding time of the incoming ship, first rope tied, last rope released upon departure and pilot disembarking upon exit and more - all vital information for the ship’s agent. All of the information is accessible in three languages, and everything is fully adapted for simple, convenient viewing on a mobile phone.

2. Real Time Loading & Unloading page - another innovative development quite simply enabling, in real time and with full transparency, the ability to track the activity of the container ship on the dock. You can see how much of the work has been completed, what is still left, details of the number of containers to be unloaded and loaded.

The information gets updated every two to three minutes.

3. Haifa Port - Real Time page - another collaboration with the information from Marine Traffic - is in the page showing a real-time situation picture along the Haifa Port docks with a dynamic map, which can be zoomed in and out, as well as information on the ships at the docks or in the Haifa Bay. The location of the ship on the map can be clicked to locate it.

4. Locate Your Container - for the first time Haifa Port enables searching for containers currently at the Port (for export or import) - those that have passed through the Port in the past year and those expected to arrive shortly. As with certified mail, which can be located by the shipping number, so at the new Haifa Port website, all you need is to enter the container’s identifier (four English characters and seven digits) and you will immediately receive all the information about the container (of course except for the cargo within it and the cargo owner’s identity). This is all available in all three languages, laid out conveniently to make it easy to read both on a computer and on a mobile phone.   

5. Cargo Ships Voyage Engine - all the information on the transportation options for cargoes to and from Haifa Port from any other port in the world. Access to the voyages engine is available in three languages both from the Customers Portal home page (tab on the left) and from a special page under Real-Time Data).

6. Minicalculators - the Haifa Port Internet minicalculators are a proprietary development of the Port and the only tool in Israel which untangles the complicated Tariff Order. It provides a simple, readily-available solution for all the Port customers in Israel and worldwide. The eight minicalculators on the new Haifa Port website are more comprehensive, with more finely-detailed parameters for quick, precise calculation of all the Port Fees. And yes, here too, all fully adapted for mobile and in three languages.

7. Online Payment - a unique tool for paying Port fees and other Port payments up to NIS 5,000. Payment is remitted through the TELEPAY clearing systems.

Tourism, Events and Waterfront - Now on the New Website

Anyone entering the tourism side of the Haifa Port website foregoes the containers, the steel girders and giant cranes, and also the yellow color permeating the cargo area, and heads for the sky-blue look of the tourism side, resplendent with cruise ships, vacation voyages and... Ninjas from Ninja Israel. 
Now for the first time, Haifa Port has set up a whole space dedicated to tourism and events as part of the opening up of Haifa Port to the general public. This change is expected to gain momentum in the coming years as part of the realization of the Municipal Waterfront Plan. Already this past year the Port hosted plenty of events for the general public in Hangar 15 - an old warehouse on the waterfront, which also served as the location for filming various television programs such as Ninja Israel, music clips and commercials.

In the website’s tourism space you will find a sailing schedule - but this time it is dedicated to cruise liners for Israeli voyagers and tourists. There is detailed information about the passenger terminal, the line between Haifa and Akko, events and future development plans. 

The site’s tourism space interfaces with the Haifa Port pages on Facebook and Instagram, presenting the Port’s latest posts on the social networks.

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