Trapeze Blog

Mobile Asset Management Streamlining Ferry Operations

By David Eason January 13, 2020 Reading time:

The need for operators and authorities to manage ferry services as an integrated part of a city’s public transport has led to the uptake of integrated technology to manage multimodal networks. This effectively allows organisations to use the same tools to manage multiple land and water-based transport modes.

Cities with coastal and river networks benefit from integrating ferry services into their public transport offering, giving users the convenience of transport routes that link land and water through regular, reliable ferry services.

For all transport operators, including ferry, mobility is a key issue.

Not only do operators, maintenance teams and management need a shared view of their assets on water, they also need to see the connecting assets that are essential to the network – jetties, pontoons, mooring systems, dry dock facilities and dockside structures.

Addressing the issue of mobility, an asset maintenance platform gives organisation-wide visibility through a real-time shared view accessible by all users, whether in an office or in the field, on tablet or desktop.

Linking with pre-existing transport services including bus, train, taxi, rideshare and e-mobility solutions ensures ferries can operate as part of an effective overall transport system.

With greater mobility through handheld devices, maintenance teams in the field can see which assets need attention, along with details of parts or components that will be required to complete the task.

Management can access the platform to check servicing history, status, checklists and schedules. Reported incidents can be time-stamped, then checked against the maintenance log (and accompanying photographs) to validate tasks.

Predictive maintenance automates task updates, for more effective ongoing asset management and compliance. This improved visibility and timeliness of maintenance and repairs strengthens the reliability and safety of assets.

Untether from old-school methods

The old-school way of working – tethered to a laptop – isn’t effective for a mobile workforce required to traverse geographic locations.

Small, handheld devices let users see task checklists, along with photographic evidence of asset condition and any maintenance or repairs needed.

Operators relying on outdated, fixed technology and paper-based scheduling can improve their overall efficiency through integrated digital transformation.

Without workforce mobility, once a task has been completed, the time needed to update paper records or offline systems prevents other users in the organisation getting an immediate view of the asset condition, service record and status.

For transport organisations running to tight schedules and operating within strict maintenance budgets, such visibility gaps can be time-consuming and costly.

Enabling workforce mobility via lightweight, handheld devices is no longer a ‘nice to have’ or a future wish. It’s essential to ensure that multimodal transport networks are connected and operate efficiently while optimising running costs and workforce resources.

The technology exists. Many ferry operators are leveraging the same systems that are being used by bus operators for tasks including workforce management, route planning and scheduling, and resource planning.

With tailor-made software ready to go, it’s never been easier for ferry operators to tear themselves away from paper and get on board the digital revolution.

So next time you’re travelling by ferry and see one of the deckhands looking at an iPad or crew members taking photographs with their smart devices, you’ll know that the latest technology is helping keep the network afloat and getting you safely to shore.

Paperless mobility solutions for ferry operators can lead to outcomes such as longer asset lifespan, better use of workforce time and resources, shorter waiting times or asset downtime, streamlined maintenance interchanges, and improved operations. 

For more information on how Trapeze technology helps manage multimodal transport networks, get in touch to arrange a demo.

Author: David Eason

David is an expert across a variety of commercial environments and has worked in multiple vertical markets. He has extensive knowledge of how tailor-made technology can be used to improve and add value to transport operations.

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